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Sunday, 5 August 2012

The Olympics is about learning new or rediscovering new sports

Recently I went to see the fencing at the ExCel centre, in East London. I had once played the Epee type of fencing and it was great to see fencing live as part of the London Olympics.

I had tickets to see the men's team Sabre quarter finals and the play off matches to decide the ranking of the 5th to 8th ranked teams. In the team competitions each team has three members, each playing in round-robin matches, the team aim is to get to 45 points.
  • Epee is often slower as the opponents can score points off the whole body so each fencer has to (like a boxer) anticipate an attack.
  • Sabre is pretty quick and the rules are more complex as to who scores points.
  • Foil forces fencers to defend and attack the body. This can lead to periods of fast action and also time where opponents consider their tactics
If you have seen clips of fencing on TV but are not sure of the rules please check out this wiki page which gives a lot of useful info. This page gives more details about the Sabre type of fencing.

At the fencing four matches take place simultaneously

A mid duel shot

At the end of the Belarus vs. Italy duel, the Italian thought he had won the match but he had not....yet. The score was 44 - 44! Belarus had been 44 to 40 ahead and the video shows the Italian Sabre fencer giving it all to persuade the judge he deserved a point to win the match.

The Italian did win the point later and the Belarusian team must have been devastated to lose a close match that they were odds on to win when leading 44 - 40.

Overall the fencing was an amazing afternoon. I might even check to see where the most local place to start to learn this great sport.

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