RIO DE JANEIRO – Emese Szasz (HUN) won the first gold medal of the Rio 2016 Olympic fencing competition on Saturday with a 15-13 victory over Italy’s Rossella Fiamingo (ITA).
In one of the most exciting and skilfully fought Olympic finals in memory, the two-time world silver medallist Szasz mounted an impressive comeback from 10-6 down to claim her first Olympic title at the age of 33.
“I'm very happy. I don't believe it at the moment, maybe in a few days I will. I believed in myself and
my fencing, and I did it.” - Emese Szasz (HUN)
With silver, Fiamingo, 24, wins her first Olympic medal to add to world titles she won in
Moscow last year and Kazan in 2014.
“Now it seems I lost a gold, but tomorrow I'll tell you that I won a silver.” - Rossella Fiamingo (ITA)
That Fiamingo made the final at all was a testament to her fighting spirit: She had been 13 seconds from Olympic elimination in the semifinals against Sun Yiwen (CHN) but levelled the score and clinched victory in overtime.
Szasz, by contrast, won each of her bouts on the way to the final by at least four points.
The bronze medal went to Sun, who beat Lauren Rembi (FRA) 15-13 for the 24-year-old’s bestever result. Sun reached the table of 32 at the Moscow world championships last year.
“I think it is an amazing day. Whatever the result, I feel really happy to be here to compete
in the Olympic Games.” - Sun Yiwen (CHN)
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- World No. 1 Xu Anqi (CHN) was stopped in the table of 32 by France’s MarieFlorence Candassamy (FRA), who won 15-8.
- Tatiana Logunova (RUS) won the Grand Prix gold at the Olympic test event in April by beating Xu Anqi (CHN), but was defeated in the second round by Nozomi Sato (JPN) by a score of 15-14.
- European champion Simona Gherman (ROU) lost in the second round at the hands of Lauren Rembi (FRA).
- The London 2012 champion, Yana Shemyakina (UKR), lost 11-8 to Nozomi Sato (JPN) in the last 16.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 7 AT CARIOCA ARENA 3
The action continues on Sunday with the men’s individual foil.
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UPDATED FENCING RESULTS (most recent top):
WOMEN’S INDIVIDUAL EPEE:
- Gold: Emese SZASZ (HUN)
- Silver: Rossella FIAMINGO (ITA)
- Bronze: Yiwen SUN (CHN)
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