Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): North Greenwich Arena, Greenwich, London
Date Started: July 28, 2012
Date Finished: July 28, 2012
Format: Single-elimination tournament.
|Gold:||Elisa Di Francisca|
The runaway success of Italian women’s foil fencing came to a sudden stop when no Italian reached the final at the 2009 World Championships but this was a merely a stone in the road and the next two championships reverted to type with Italian victories through [Elisa Di Francisca] in 2010 and living legend [Valentina Vezzali] in 2011.
All eyes were on Vezzali at London where she would attempt to win an unprecedented fourth successive Olympic title in the event. She was even chosen to carry the Italian flag at the Opening Ceremony.
The women’s foil proved a lot more predictable than the male equivalent and the semi-final line-up of three Italians and the Italian based [Nam Hyeon-Hui] of Korea exactly matched most of the predictions made before the Games.
The first semi-final matched Di Francisca and Nam and set the trend for the final matches of the tournament. The Italian was four points down with a minute to go but forced a tie in the dying seconds of the bout then won the sudden death decider. The second bout saw the dreams of Vezzali becoming a four time winner of the gold medal in foil end at the hands of her younger team mate [Arianna Errigo] by 15-12.
For most of the final it seemed that Errigo would defeat her more experienced compatriot Di Francisca. With 45 seconds left on the clock Di Francisca needed to cancel a deficit of three points to remain in the gold medal hunt and that is exactly what she did by making three lightning fast hits to ensure the bout went to extra time. Di Francisca gambled on a swift attack at the sudden death phase and hit the golden jackpot within a second of the start of the extra period.
The bronze medal contest between Vezzali and Nam was nearly a carbon copy of the final but with the twist that the Italian veteran recovered from a slightly greater margin (four points) in a smaller period of time (18 seconds) to force extra time. A well timed counter attack from Vezzali then ensured that she took bronze and that Italy would make a sweep of the medals. This was the first Italy had swept the podium in any Olympic event since 1956.
Although Vezzali failed to become the first fencer to win four successive titles in any individual event she did win a record fifth successive medal in the discipline.
|1||Elisa Di Francisca||29||Italy||ITA||Gold||3|
|4||Nam Hyeon-Hui||30||South Korea||KOR||2|
|5||Lee Kiefer||18||United States||USA||5|
|15||Jeong Gil-Ok||31||South Korea||KOR||24|
|20||Jeon Hui-Suk||28||South Korea||KOR||13|
|22||Nzingha Prescod||19||United States||USA||19|
|24||Saskia van Erven||24||Colombia||COL||23|
|25||Nicole Ross||23||United States||USA||26|
|27||Natalia Sheppard||28||Great Britain||GBR||42|
|35||Lin Po Heung||27||Hong Kong||HKG||57|
|37||Sophie Troiano||25||Great Britain||GBR||100|
|38||Anna Bentley||31||Great Britain||GBR||165|