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Fencing at the 2012 London Summer Games:

Women's Foil, Individual

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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: ITA Elisa Di Francisca
Silver: ITA Arianna Errigo
Bronze: ITA Valentina Vezzali


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.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinal RoundSemi-FinalsQuarter-FinalsRound ThreeRound TwoRound One

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal S
1 Elisa Di Francisca 29 Italy ITA Gold 3
2 Arianna Errigo 24 Italy ITA Silver 4
3 Valentina Vezzali 38 Italy ITA Bronze 1
4 Nam Hyeon-Hui 30 South Korea KOR 2
5 Lee Kiefer 18 United States USA 5
6 Inès Boubakri 23 Tunisia TUN 10
7 Chieko Sugawara 35 Japan JPN 25
8 Kanae Ikehata 29 Japan JPN 36
9 Corinne Maîtrejean 32 France FRA 6
10 Astrid Guyart 29 France FRA 7
11 Kamilla Gafurzyanova 24 Russia RUS 14
12 Carolin Golubytskyi 26 Germany GER 15
13 Aida Mohamed 36 Hungary HUN 16
14 Chen Jinyan 24 China CHN 17
15 Jeong Gil-Ok 31 South Korea KOR 24
16 Ysaora Thibus 20 France FRA 30
17 Sylwia Gruchała 30 Poland POL 9
18 Inna Deriglazova 22 Russia RUS 11
19 Aida Shanayeva 26 Russia RUS 12
20 Jeon Hui-Suk 28 South Korea KOR 13
21 Małgorzata Wojtkowiak 30 Poland POL 18
22 Nzingha Prescod 19 United States USA 19
23 Martyna Synoradzka 24 Poland POL 21
24 Saskia van Erven 24 Colombia COL 23
25 Nicole Ross 23 United States USA 26
26 Iman Shaban 23 Egypt EGY 37
27 Natalia Sheppard 28 Great Britain GBR 42
28 Monica Peterson 28 Canada CAN 43
29 Olha Leleiko 35 Ukraine UKR 52
30 Shiho Nishioka 23 Japan JPN 71
31 Johana Fuenmayor 33 Venezuela VEN 75
32 Mona Shaito 18 Lebanon LIB 76
33 Shaimaa El-Gammal 32 Egypt EGY 45
34 Eman El-Gammal 30 Egypt EGY 48
35 Lin Po Heung 27 Hong Kong HKG 57
36 Anissa Khelfaoui 20 Algeria ALG 59
37 Sophie Troiano 25 Great Britain GBR 100
38 Anna Bentley 31 Great Britain GBR 165