Republic of Korea defend men's sabre team title

Luca Curatoli of Team Italy (L) competes against Junghwan Kim of Republic of Korea (R) during the Men's Sabre Team Gold Medal Match at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Luca Curatoli of Team Italy (L) competes against Junghwan Kim of Republic of Korea (R) during the Men's Sabre Team Gold Medal Match at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Three-time world champions Republic of Korea have retained their Olympic gold medal in the men's sabre team event at Makuhari Messe.

The Republic of Korea have defended their men's sabre team Olympic gold medal after beating Italy 45-26.

It was the their first gold of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 in a sport other than archery.

Returning to the Olympic Fencing schedule at Tokyo 2020 after being dropped from the program at Rio 2016, the men's sabre team event was last seen at London 2012 where Republic of Korea won gold.

"We were the defending champions since the London Olympic and we had a lot of time to prepare for Tokyo. It was a challenging time," commented KIM Junghwan, who alongside GU Bongil are the first fencers representing Republic of Korea to win multiple Olympic gold medals.

"We didn't know what was coming and it was all up in the air and because of that delay we were doubting ourselves too. It was a competition amongst ourselves and within ourselves but our team members really trusted and supported each other.

"And because we were able to win gold, I am very happy but I can't really feel it right now. Maybe I will later on," he added.

The Republic of Korea were dominate from beginning as no.1 OH Sanguk gave his team a commendable lead early on before Bongil, Junghwan and later on KIM Junho extended it.

It's the first time in 13 years that a nation has defended their Olympic title in this event - France were the last to do so after back-to-back titles at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.

"After London 2012, Sanguk and Junho were not in our team and I think our teams at the time were quite strong and supportive of each other. Thanks to Sanguk and Junho because of their strengths we came together as a team and I think that is why we won gold," said Bongil.

Hungary beat Germany in a close 45-40 battle for the bronze medal.