You Are Here > > > > > Women's Sabre, Individual

Fencing at the 2012 London Summer Games:

Women's Sabre, Individual

Fencing at the 2012 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games


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.

Gold: KOR Kim Ji-Yeon
Silver: RUS Sofiya Velikaya
Bronze: UKR Olha Kharlan


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.

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

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal S
1 Kim Ji-Yeon 24 South Korea KOR Gold 5
2 Sofiya Velikaya 27 Russia RUS Silver 2
3 Olha Kharlan 21 Ukraine UKR Bronze 3
4 Mariel Zagunis 27 United States USA 1
5 Vasiliki Vougiouka 26 Greece GRE 4
6 Irene Vecchi 23 Italy ITA 6
7 Zhu Min 24 China CHN 7
8 Dagmara Wozniak 24 United States USA 10
9 Azza Besbes 21 Tunisia TUN 8
10 Yuliya Gavrilova 23 Russia RUS 9
11 Chen Xiaodong 24 China CHN 11
12 Gioia Marzocca 33 Italy ITA 12
13 Aleksandra Socha 30 Poland POL 13
14 Səbinə Mikina 24 Azerbaijan AZE 17
15 Alejandra Benítez 32 Venezuela VEN 23
16 Seira Nakayama 28 Japan JPN 25
17 Léonore Perrus 28 France FRA 18
18 Lee Ra-Jin 22 South Korea KOR 21
19 Sandra Sassine 32 Canada CAN 27
20 Alexandra Bujdoso 22 Germany GER 29
21 Belén Pérez 27 Argentina ARG 39
22 Amira Ben Chaabane 22 Tunisia TUN 42
23 Yuliya Zhivitsa 22 Kazakhstan KAZ 47
24 Salma Zain 22 Egypt EGY 66
25 Bianca Pascu 24 Romania ROU 69
26 Au Sin Ying 23 Hong Kong HKG 70
27 Sophie Williams 21 Great Britain GBR 71
28 Úrsula González 20 Mexico MEX 108
29 Louise Bond-Williams 30 Great Britain GBR 109
30 Margarita Chomakova 23 Bulgaria BUL 129
31 Diah Permatasari 22 Indonesia INA 141
32 Lea Moutoussamy 14 Algeria ALG 265