Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): North Greenwich Arena, Greenwich, London
Date Started: August 1, 2012
Date Finished: August 1, 2012
Format: Single-elimination tournament.
The big story of the women’s sabre at London 2012 was the attempt of the USA’s [Mariel Zagunis] to win a third successive Olympic title. Only one woman, [Valentina Vezzali] of Italy in the foil, had ever performed this feat in the sport. Zagunis had been World Champion in 2009 and 2010 but had fallen at the final hurdle in 2011 where she was beaten by her Russian nemesis [Sofiya Velikaya] in the gold medal bout.
Unlike many of the fencing events at London, the sabre played out almost exactly to what had been predicted by the seedings with #5 seed [Kim Ji-Yeon] of Korea being the only fencer to exceed expectations and reach the semi-final stage at the expense of #4 seed [Vassiliki Vougiouka] of Greece.
The first semi-final was between Zagunis and Kim and appeared to be going the way of all previous Olympic bouts involving Zagunis when the American sprinted into a 12-5 but the Korean was made of strong material and mounted a ferocious comeback to tie things up at all before winning the final two points of the match and ending Zagunis’s undefeated Olympic run stretching back to the Athens Olympics. The other semi-final went on similar lines but this time the comeback by Olha Kharlan of Ukraine against Velikaya faltered at the last and the Russian held her nerve to register the final decisive pair of hits.
In contrast to the semis, the final was less of a contest as Kim of Korea raced to an early lead and Velikaya was unable to peg back the deficit. The final score 15-9 in favour of the Korean.
This was Korea’s first gold in fencing in 12 years and the first ever by a woman.
Zagunis was unable to gain consolation from the bronze medal match as she fell 15-10 to Kharlan.
|1||Kim Ji-Yeon||24||South Korea||KOR||Gold||5|
|4||Mariel Zagunis||27||United States||USA||1|
|8||Dagmara Wozniak||24||United States||USA||10|
|18||Lee Ra-Jin||22||South Korea||KOR||21|
|22||Amira Ben Chaabane||22||Tunisia||TUN||42|
|26||Au Sin Ying||23||Hong Kong||HKG||70|
|27||Sophie Williams||21||Great Britain||GBR||71|
|29||Louise Bond-Williams||30||Great Britain||GBR||109|