LEI is the first Chinese man to win an Olympic fencing foil gold medal and ABDULELKASSEM became Egypt's first medallist at the London 2012 Olympic Games, as well as the first African fencer to win an Olympic medal. The bronze went to Byungchul CHOI (KOR), who beat Andrea BALDINI (ITA) 15-14. At 14-14, both fencers appeared to attack, but the video replay showed that the Korean had started just before the Italian, so he won the point.
After the first hit of the semifinals, LEI was always ahead against BALDINI, using his reach to get through the Italian's defence and throwing in some lightning ripostes to win 15-11.
In the other semifinal, ABDULELKASSEM defeated CHOI 15-12. This fight was the most spectacular of the day with explosive action from both fencers. Ultimately, CHOI overdid the acrobatics and received three red cards (hits against him) for crashing into his opponent or covering his target.
ABDULELKASSEM had caused the upset of the tournament in the quarterfinals by beating the hot favourite, world champion Andrea CASSARA (ITA), 15-10.
Also in the quarters, LEI beat world No.2 Valerio ASPROMONTE (ITA) 15-8, CHOI just overcame MA Jianfei (CHN) 5-13 and BALDINI destroyed Alexey CHEREMISINOV (RUS) 15-5.
CASSARA had only just survived his match with Yuki OTA (JPN) in the third round. They traded hits to 14-14 at time before the Italian managed to score in extra time.
The hopes of Germany, France and the USA were crushed in this round. ABOUELKASSEM beat four-time world champion Peter JOPPICH (GER) 15-10, ASPROMONTE took out Sebastien BACHMANN (GER) 15-11, LEI overwhelmed the diminutive Victor SINTES (FRA) 15-6, and Erwan LE PECHOUX (FRA) built up a healthy 8-3 lead against CHOI, but the Korean fought back to win 15-13. BALDINI accounted for Race IMBODEN (USA) 15-9 and CHEREMISINOV beat Alexander MASSIALAS (USA) 15-6.
In the second round, Beijing 2008 Olympic champion Benjamin KLEIBRINK (GER) met silver medallist OTA. This time the result from four years ago was reversed as the Japanese triumphed over the German 15-5.
It was a miserable day for the British competitors - all three foilists lost in in the first two rounds. James DAVIS (GBR) did best, staying in touch with JOPPICH up to 10-9 before the four-time world champion moved up a gear to win 15-10.
An out-of-form Richard KRUSE (GBR) lost badly to Artur AKHMATKHUZIN (RUS) 15-5, and British champion Husayn ROSOWSKY (GBR) went down to Mohamed SAMANDI (TUN) 15-8.