Chinese fencers are set to take on top-ranked Italians in the Olympic men's foil individual competition which starts on Monday at the Hellinoko Fencing Hall.
Wang Haibin, team silver medal winner in the 2000 Olympics, and his longtime teammate Dong Zhaozhi are to be joined by new-blood and top-ranked Wu Hanxiong, rated seventh in the world.
Each Chinese could meet one of Italy's world top three players on his way to the semifinals.
The 31-year-old Wang has world No. 1 Andrea Cassara waiting at the upper part of the draw should both make it to the quarterfinals. Salvatore Sanzo, ranked second in the world, is drawn with Wu at the bottom zone, and the two could meet before the last eight.
Dong, whose wife gave birth to a baby girl one day before he left for Athens on August 8, could face Simone Vanni, Italy's third seed, with the winner entering the quarters.
Chinese fencers won't face each other until the semifinals.
(People's Daily August 16, 2004)