Fencing fans who followed the entirety of the women’s individual epee event and the men's individual sabre competition got to witness quite a bit of Olympic history being written.
In the men’s finals, Hungarian fencer Aron Szilagyi became the second man to win the same individual fencing event three times, adding a third gold to his collection of medals from Rio and London by besting Luigi Samele (ITA) 15-7. Valentina Vezzali (ITA) accomplished the three-peat in the individual foil competition during the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Games.
Samele’s silver is his first Olympic medal while bronze medalist Kim Jung-Hwan (KOR) now has a total of three including an individual bronze won in Rio and a team gold from the London Games.
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During the women’s competition, Sun Yiwen defeated Ana Maria Popescu (ROU) 11-10 in a sudden-death overtime to claim her first Olympic gold, a medal that brings her career total to three and places her in a tie with Sun Yujie (no relation) for the title of most decorated Chinese Olympic fencer.
In Rio, Yiwen collected a silver for the team women’s epee event and a bronze in the individual competition. She’ll have a chance at a fourth medal during the women’s team epee competition Tuesday which China is favored to win.
Popescu’s silver marks the third Olympic medal of her career. She won her first by finishing second in the individual epee event in Beijing and later added a team gold in Rio. The 36-year-old is the oldest silver medalist in women’s epee, breaking a record set by Laura Flessel-Colovic when the French fencer was 32 years and 283 days old while competing in the Athens Games.
In the bronze-medal match, Katrina Lehis downed Aizanat Murtazaeva, the Russian fencer who eliminated American Kelley Hurley in the round of 16, 15-8 to claim Estonia’s first Olympic fencing medal ever. Lehis’ bronze was also Estonia's first medal of the Tokyo Games.