Picture by 2016 FIE

Top five things to know about Olympic fencing at Tokyo 2020

Who are the top fencers to watch out for? When and where will fencing competition take place at the Games in 2021? What is the history of fencing in the Olympics? Find out here.
By Alessandro Poggi

Fencing is one of 33 sports that will take place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in 2021.

But who are the ones to watch? When will competition events take place? Where will they be held?

Here's your Olympic Channel guide to the top things to know about Olympic fencing.

Top Olympic fencers at Tokyo 2020

Italy, France, and Hungary have traditionally been the most successful countries at the Olympics. The Italians have the largest overall medal haul (125 medals), closely followed by the French fencers (118). And those nations are favoured to add to those numbers at the Games in 2021.

Reigning Olympic champion Daniele Garozzo leads a strong Italian men's foil team (Alessio Foconi, Andrea Cassara), which will probably battle out in the individual and team events against the USA, featuring Rio 2016 silver medallist Alexander Massialas, and France, home of current individual world champion Enzo Lefort.

Hungary aims to continue its successful tradition in sabre with double Olympic champion Aron Szilagyi being their most representative name.

Russian fencers aim to back up their good results from the Rio 2016 Games and the 2019 world championships, where they won more titles than anyone else.

Inna Deriglazova is the ROC team's top fencing star, thanks to her two Olympic medals (including an individual foil gold) and two consecutive world crowns.

Another athlete to watch is Ukraine's Olga Kharlan, who is chasing her first individual Olympic gold in sabre after a team Olympic title in Beijing and three medals between London and Rio.

A new crop of young fencers from Asia is also eager to show their progress.

That includes Korea's Oh Sanguk, winner of three world team titles and one individual crown in sabre.

Vivian Kong made history for Hong Kong by winning her country's first World Cup title in 2019 and, after clinching individual bronze in epee at the Worlds in Budapest, hopes to make up for her disappointing Olympic debut at Rio 2016.

Olympic fencing schedule at Tokyo 2020

The fencing competition at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will take place from 24 July to 1 August 2021.

This is the schedule of the gold medal events:

  • 24 July: women's epee individual final, men's sabre individual final
  • 25 July: women's foil individual final, men's epee individual final
  • 26 July: women's sabre individual final, men's foil individual final
  • 27 July: women's epee team final
  • 28 July: men's sabre team final
  • 29 July: women's foil team final
  • 30 July: men's epee team final
  • 31 July: women's sabre team final
  • 1 August: men's foil team final

The full schedule of events for the Tokyo 2020 Games can be found here.

Olympic fencing venue at Tokyo 2020

Fencing at the Tokyo 2020 Games in 2021 will take place in a hall at the Makuhari Messe, one of Japan's largest convention centres.

The venue can hold 8,000 spectators, and other parts of the building will host the taekwondo and wrestling competitions at the Olympics.

Olympic fencing competition format at Tokyo 2020

Tokyo 2020 will be the first Olympics where all twelve events on the fencing programme will be contested.

Men and women each compete in six events, broken down by team and individual competition as well as the three weapons used: epee, sabre, and foil.

Individual competitions are arranged in a single-elimination tournament format.

Team events involve three members (and one reserve member) competing in a round-robin format, with each athlete on each team fencing one another one at a time

Olympic fencing history

Fencing has featured in every modern Olympic Games since 1896, starting with the individual men's foil and sabre. Women's individual foil was added at the Paris 1924 Games, women's individual épée was added at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics and women's individual sabre was added at the Athens 2004 Games.

All twelve fencing events (foil/epee/sabre, women/men, individual/team) will be held at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

Hungary's Aladar Gerevich holds the record for most Olympic gold medals: ten.

Italy's Edoardo Mangiarotti is the athlete with most Olympic fencing medals in history (thirteen, including six golds).

Another Italian, Valentina Vezzali, is the woman with most Olympic medals (nine, including six golds) and is among an exclusive club of four athletes to have won five medals in the same individual event (foil) at the Summer Olympic Games.

You can get all the latest News about Tokyo 2020 on the Olympic Channel website, apps for mobile and connected tv devices, and via social media platforms.