Dates: Saturday 28th July – Sunday 5th August
Competing Athletes: 212
Medal Events: 10
Three types of weapon are used in Olympic Fencing. In bouts using the Foil and the slightly heavier Epée, hits are scored by hitting an opponent with the tip of the weapon. However, in Sabre, hits may also be scored with the edge of the weapon. Epée allows both fencers to score at the same time while Foil and Sabre have rules of right of way and timing that mean only one fencer can score a hit at a time.
Individual Fencing bouts last for three rounds of three minutes each, or until one fencer has scored 15 hits against their opponent. In the Team events, teams of three fencers compete against their opponents over a series of nine bouts, with the aim of accumulating a maximum of 45 hits.
All 10 medal events on the Fencing programme will be run in a knockout format. Players and teams will progress through the draw until the finals, which will decide the winners of the gold medals.
- Epée: The heaviest weapon and a true duelling sword: the whole body is a target, and opposing fencers can score simultaneous hits by landing their points at the same time.
- Foil: A light weapon derived from the court sword, the Foil has very strict right-of-way and timing rules. The target area in foil bouts is the opponent’s torso.
- Sabre: In contests involving the Sabre, which is derived from the cavalry sword, fencers may score hits with the edge and the tip of the blade on a target area limited to anywhere above the waist – this is because it was once considered ungentlemanly to hit an opponent’s horse!
- Lunge: Extending your leading foot quickly in order to attack.
- Parry: A defensive move, used to block your opponent’s blade.
- Riposte: Scoring a hit after you’ve successfully executed a parry.
- Piste: The field of play; also known as the strip.
Gold medal bout - Tagliariol ITA v Jeannet F FRA - Beijing 2008 Olympic Games