TOKYO, Japan, July 30, 2021—Japan has won gold in men’s team epee at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Nine men’s teams participated in the day’s event, which was the seventh day of Olympic fencing at Tokyo’s Makuhari Messe Hall B in the Chiba prefecture.
In the gold medal round, Japan faced ROC, winning with a score of 45-36. This was the first-ever Olympic gold medal for Japan in fencing in any weapon, team or individual, men or women. The bronze medal went to Korea over China, 45-42, their first-ever Olympic men’s team epee medal.
“Our biggest strategy was to unite the team and fence as one today”, said Japan’s Kazuyasu Minobe. “I think tonight is an incredible step for fencing overall in Japan. By winning the gold medal, it helps fencing grow and builds interest in Japan for all people to help it gain popularity. Our biggest challenge today was our first match in the 16 against the USA, which was very difficult. After that, we changed our strategy by putting [Satoru] Uyama in the match, and that changed the momentum of the game and ultimately allowed us to win the gold medal.”
“We fenced together with the Japanese team in the camp, and we saw they are capable of winning and very strong”, said ROC’s Sergey Bida. “We knew that. So, we felt ready, and we took our usual approach with them. However, for men’s team epee, we never had an Olympic gold medal, so we really wanted one. And while this silver medal is part of history for our country, we still wanted a gold.”
“With all the training and work we had to do to win this bronze medal, it was a huge effort”, said Korea’s Youngjun Kweon. “Park is our best fencer, so our strategy was to try and lose as few points as possible and then pass it to him to help us win. I still cannot believe we won this medal; I feel like I’m dreaming.”
“Because the speed of the Korean team is faster than we are, we needed to try to catch them off-guard and avoid mistakes”, said China’s Zijie Wang. “I am glad to be at Tokyo 2020, and even though it’s not easy to hold the Games during a pandemic, I think it’s important to hold Tokyo 2020 with the COVID situation. I think the entire fencing competition is very good.”
Final ranking for men’s team epee included Japan (gold), ROC (silver), Korea (bronze), China, France, Ukraine, Italy, Switzerland and USA.