RIO DE JANEIRO (August 11) – Romania celebrated its first gold medal of the Rio Olympics in any sport on Thursday as the country’s women’s epee team beat top-ranked China by a score of 44-38 in the final.
It was also a first medal for Romania in the event, which pits the top three or four fencers from each country against each other in a first-to-45 battle, or until the time runs out. Romania’s winning team consisted of Ana Maria Popescu, Simona Pop, Simona Gherman and Loredana Dinu.
“We (wrote) history today, and it's like, oh my God.”
"It's an amazing day. We believed. We dreamed (about) this day for such a long time,
and now we did it. We just did it. Can you believe it?"
- Ana-Maria Popescu (ROU)
China, anchored by world No. 3 Anqi Xu, completes its medal set after winning gold in
London and bronze in Sydney. The other silver medallists were and Yujie Sun, Yiwen Sun
and Jialu Hao, the bronze medallist in the individual event.
“[This silver medal] can give us a mission. It will give us a new step and a new direction
to try our best."
- Anqi Xu (CHN)
World No. 3 team Russia won the bronze with a 37-31 victory over Estonia. The last touch was registered by Violetta Kolobeva, who saw out the clock to secure two-time champion Russia’s fourth medal in the event since it was introduced at Atlanta 1996.
The other bronze medalists were Olga Kochneva, Lyubov Shutova, and Tatiana Logunova, who won the Rio Grand Prix at the same venue in April.
"Everybody is really happy because we have a medal. Yes, it's not gold, but it's gold to
us. … Everybody worked well. [We] work really hard as a team."
- Tatiana Logunova (RUS)
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WOMEN’S TEAM ÉPÉE BULLETS:
- Romania claimed its second Olympic title in women's fencing after a gold medal in the women's individual foil event in 1996.
- The silver was China’s 500th medal in Olympic history in any sport. China is the seventh NOC to reach this milestone.
- World No. 7 team the United States beat South Korea 22-18 to win the match for fifth place.
- France, ranked sixth, beat world No. 8 team Ukraine by a score of 45-38 to win the match for seventh place.
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Links: More on fencing from Olympic.org
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