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Fencing at the 1968 Ciudad de México Summer Games:

Men's Sabre, Individual

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Host City: Ciudad de México, Mexico
Venue(s): Fernando Montes de Oca Fencing Hall, Magdalena Mixhuca Sports City, Ciudad de México
Date Started: October 16, 1968
Date Finished: October 17, 1968

Gold: POL Jerzy Pawłowski
Silver: URS Mark Rakita
Bronze: HUN Tibor Pézsa


By the time of the 1968 Olympic Games, [Jerzy Pawłowski] had been one of the world's top fencers for 15 years and had won 19 medals in World and Olympic competition. The only gap in his collection was an Olympic title. He put this right in Mexico when he recorded a dramatic victory over the USSR's [Mark Rakita] on a sudden-death hit in the barrage for the gold medal. In doing so he reversed the standings from the most recent World Championships and broke the 48-year stranglehold that Hungarian sabre fencers had on the Olympic title. Hungary's best in 1968, reigning champion [Tibor Pézsa], could only place third.

Pawłowski's story is one of contrasts. On the face of it he was a national hero in Poland from the 50s through to the mid-70s and won three individual World title in addition to his Olympic gold medal. What was not known in his homeland until after he had retired from the sport was that Pawłowski, a major in the Polish Army, had been a spy for the CIA for over a decade. He was revealed as a spy in 1975 and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. After 10 years he was pardoned by the Polish government and released.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinal PoolElimination RoundsRound TwoRound One

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Jerzy Pawłowski 35 Poland POL Gold
2 Mark Rakita 30 Soviet Union URS Silver
3 Tibor Pézsa 32 Hungary HUN Bronze
4 Vladimir Nazlymov 22 Soviet Union URS
5 Rolando Rigoli 28 Italy ITA
6 Józef Nowara 23 Poland POL
7T Serge Panizza 25 France FRA
7T Umyar Mavlikhanov 31 Soviet Union URS
9T Alfonso Morales 31 United States USA
9T Marcel Parent 33 France FRA
9T Claude Arabo 31 France FRA
9T Tamás Kovács 25 Hungary HUN
13T Wladimiro Calarese 38 Italy ITA
13T Paul Wischeidt 24 West Germany FRG
13T Péter Bakonyi 30 Hungary HUN
13T Cesare Salvadori 27 Italy ITA
5 p1 r2/4 Alex Orban 29 United States USA
5 p2 r2/4 Emil Ochyra 32 Poland POL
5 p3 r2/4 Jack Keane 40 United States USA
5 p4 r2/4 Walter Köstner 32 West Germany FRG
6 p1 r2/4 Rodney Craig 23 Great Britain GBR
6 p2 r2/4 Vicente Calderón 19 Mexico MEX
6 p3 r2/4 Yves Brasseur 25 Belgium BEL
6 p4 r2/4 Sandy Leckie 30 Great Britain GBR
5 p1 r1/4 Félix Delgado 19 Cuba CUB
5 p2 r1/4 Richard Oldcorn 30 Great Britain GBR
5 p3 r1/4 John Andru 35 Canada CAN
5 p4 r1/4 Román Quinos 28 Argentina ARG
5 p5 r1/4 Volker Duschner 23 West Germany FRG
5 p6 r1/4 Manuel Ortíz 20 Cuba CUB
6 p1 r1/4 Colm O'Brien 21 Ireland IRL
6 p2 r1/4 Alberto Lanteri 30 Argentina ARG
6 p3 r1/4 Jan Boutmy 37 Netherlands Antilles AHO
6 p4 r1/4 William Fajardo 37 Mexico MEX
6 p5 r1/4 Gustavo Chapela 22 Mexico MEX
6 p6 r1/4 John Bouchier-Hayes 23 Ireland IRL
7 p2 r1/4 José Narciso Díaz 17 Cuba CUB
7 p3 r1/4 Juan Carlos Frecia 38 Argentina ARG
7 p4 r1/4 Nguyễn The Loc 33 South Vietnam VNM
7 p5 r1/4 Fionbarr Farrell 23 Ireland IRL