Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Olympic Green Convention Center, Beijing
Date Started: August 12, 2008
Date Finished: August 12, 2008
Format: Single-elimination tournament.
As in 2004, 1996 champion [Stanislav Pozdnyakov] of Russia arrived at the Olympic Games as the clear favourite for the title having won World Championship gold in both 2006 and 2007. In Athina he had failed to live up to expectations and exited at the quarter-final stage. Surely the same thing could not happen again? In fact it didn't - but only because the Russian didn't even get that far this time.
Pozdnyakov's conqueror was the French champion [Nicolas Lopez] who made the most of his opportunity by making a run to the final which also included a victory over Sydney Olympic champion [Mihai Covaliu].
Lopez's gold medal opponent was another surprise contender. [Zhong Man], representing the host nation of China, was a distance runner turned basketball player turned fencer from the same Jiangsu Province that had produced [Luan Jujie], the only other Chinese Olympic champion fencer. Zhong had been a solid if unspectacular competitor on the world scene until he won the Asian Championships earlier in 2008. He brought forward this rich vein of form to the Olympic Games. The Chinese and French fencers traded scores for the majority of the final and were tied at 4-all, 6-all and 9-all before Zhong went on a run of six successive scores to become the 1st Chinese male to win Olympic gold in the sport. The champion relaxed before bouts by watching a soap opera.
|6||Keeth Smart||30||United States||USA|
|13||O Eun-Seok||25||South Korea||KOR|
|22||Tim Morehouse||30||United States||USA|
|28||Jason Rogers||25||United States||USA|
|38||Julien Ouedraogo||26||Burkina Faso||BUR|
|39||Alex O'Connell||20||Great Britain||GBR|