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Fencing at the 1960 Roma Summer Games

1960 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games


Host City: Roma, Italy
Date Started: August 29, 1960
Date Finished: September 8, 1960
Events: 8

Participants: 344 (266 men and 78 women) from 42 countries
Youngest Participant: NED Max Dwinger (16 years, 276 days)
Oldest Participant: MAR Charles Bénitah (53 years, 178 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 11 athletes with 2 medals
Most Medals (Country): URS Soviet Union (7 medals)


The venue for the 1960 Summer Olympics was the [Palazzo dei Congressi] in central Rome, a building designed for the 1942 Universal Exposition but, due to World War II, not completed until 1953. For the first time there were two events for women as a team event was added in the foil discipline.

The Rome Games saw a change in the balance of power in Olympic fencing. Since 1924 every Olympic men's title had been claimed by fencers from one of the triopoly of France, Italy and Hungary. In the 1950s the rise of the Soviet Union, especially in the foil events, changed the face of the sport and their success in the Italian capital was no great shock. The épée and sabre were, in contrast, a last hoorah for the old guard in Italian and Hungarian fencing. [Aladár Gerevich] created a piece of history by winning a gold medal in the team sabre for the sixth successive title. A unique achievement in all Olympic sports made more impressive by the cancellation of the 1940 and 1944 Olympics when he should have been at his physical peak. His teammates [Pál Kovács] and [Rudolf Kárpáti] also ended their Olympic careers – both retired with six Olympic gold medals. It was a disastrous Games for France as, for the first Olympics in which they had participated; they were shut out of the medals.

The Soviets topped the medal table as the only nation to win three gold medals ahead of Italy and Hungary with two apiece. The winners of the three men's individual events also won a second gold in the team event.