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A new world

Fencing

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Choose your weapon: épée, foil or sabre? In the Olympic programme since Athens 1896, the first Games of the modern era, fencing comes to Rio 2016 with three individual and two team events for both men and women.
Spectator's Guide - Fencing
  • Fencing

Countries

Athletes

Events

47 246 10

Schedule & Results

Schedule & Results

Fencing

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August21
Date Event Status

About

About

Aim of the game

A form of combat sport between two fencers in which the aim is to land blows on the opponent’s target area body with a blunt-ended blade as many times as possible during a match

Why should you watch this?

The artistry of real-life duels brings a taste of medieval combat to the Games, with the top athletes deploying rapid, precision moves that can be almost too quick for the human eye

International Federation

FIE

Olympic debut

Athens 1896

Rules
  • Balestra

    Balestra

    Footwork move comprising a jump towards the adversary

  • Flèche

    Flèche

    Rapid attack to surprise the opponent

  • On guard

    On guard

    The referee’s words to start the bout

Impress your friends

  • Fencing originated from epée fights and became a sport in the fifteenth century, when duels were bloody and occasionally fatal

    Fencing originated from epée fights and became a sport in the fifteenth century, when duels were bloody and occasionally fatal

  • It is one of the longest-running sports in the Olympics, and has featured in the programme since the Athens 1896 Games, the first of the Modern Olympic Era

    It is one of the longest-running sports in the Olympics, and has featured in the programme since the Athens 1896 Games, the first of the Modern Olympic Era

  • At Tokyo 1964, Hungary’s Ildiko Ujlaki-Rejto won two gold medals, a feat all the more remarkable because she was born deaf and learned to fence by reading instructions

    At Tokyo 1964, Hungary’s Ildiko Ujlaki-Rejto won two gold medals, a feat all the more remarkable because she was born deaf and learned to fence by reading instructions

  • At the London 2012, Venezuelan Rubén Limardo won South America’s first fencing gold, and was rewarded with a replica of Simon Bolivar’s epée

    At the London 2012, Venezuelan Rubén Limardo won South America’s first fencing gold, and was rewarded with a replica of Simon Bolivar’s epée

  • Italian Nedo Nadi is the only fencer in over 100 years of Olympic history to win gold in all three disciplines at the same Games, in Antwerp in 1920

    Italian Nedo Nadi is the only fencer in over 100 years of Olympic history to win gold in all three disciplines at the same Games, in Antwerp in 1920

  • Hungary’s Aladár Gerevich is the record-holder for Olympic fencing gold medals, winning seven between 1932 and 1960

    Hungary’s Aladár Gerevich is the record-holder for Olympic fencing gold medals, winning seven between 1932 and 1960

  • Fencing was one of the sports practised by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the Modern Era of the Olympic Games

    Fencing was one of the sports practised by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the Modern Era of the Olympic Games

  • Before the electronic scoring system was introduced, predominantly white clothing, still a feature of Olympic fencing, was used to confirm when points were landed

    Before the electronic scoring system was introduced, predominantly white clothing, still a feature of Olympic fencing, was used to confirm when points were landed

  • Fencers must greet each other before every bout, and a failure to do so can lead to disqualification

    Fencers must greet each other before every bout, and a failure to do so can lead to disqualification

Weapons

Epée:
- 110 cm, 770 g
- Rigid and heavy            
- A point is scored when the tip touches any part of the opponent’s body

Foil:
- 90 cm, 500 g   
- Lightweight blade       
- A point is scored when the tip touches the opponent’s torso or groin

Sabre:
- 88 cm, 500 g   
- Shorter, more flexible blade, allowing very swift moves          
- A point is scored when the opponent is hit above the belt

Scoring

An automated scoring system is connected to the tip of each fencer’s weapon and detects when the opponent is touched in a valid area. As soon as contact is made, a red or green light comes on to clarify who scored the point, and if both light up at the same time, the referee’s decision is final. A white light indicates invalid contact, and no point is scored.

Duration

Individual bouts consist of three 3-minute rounds, or until one of the competitors scores 15 points. Team competitions last nine 3-minute rounds, or until one of the teams scores 45 points.

Piste

Fencers move on a metal piste 14m long and 1.5m-2m wide.

Kit

Fencers must wear masks, gloves and impenetrable body protection

Updates

Stats

Top Medalists

Men
ita
Edoardo Mangiarotti
6 5 2 13
hun
Aladar Gerevich
7 1 2 10
ita
Giulio Gaudini
3 4 2 9
Women
ita
Valentina Vezzali
6 1 2 9
ita
Giovanna Trillini
4 1 3 8
hun
Ildiko Rejto-Ujlaki
2 3 2 7

Countries

Athletes

Athletes & Teams

Gender

Gender
Woman 50
Men 50
Women
Men

Age Range

Age Range
Under 15 0
16 - 20 6
21 - 25 28
26 - 30 37
31 - 40 28
Over 40 0
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