China's fencing medal hopeful Tan Xue advanced into the women's individual sabre semifinal by defeating Elena Netchaeva of Russia at the 28th Olympic Games Tuesday morning.
Tan Xue, world champion in the event at the 2002 World Championships in Portugal, did not leave any chance to Netchaeva in the quarterfinal and wrapped up the bout with a convincing win
Netchaeva, who started her fencing career at the age of 10, has been a popular name in fencing circle for her outstanding performance in World Cup and World Championships this year.
However, Tan Xue's teammate Zhang Ying failed to make her name in the top four in the Olympic debutant event. Facing a fierce challenge from Romanian fencer Catalina Gheorghitoaia, Zhang Ying, who helped the Chinese team to the second place at the World Championships in Havana, Cuba last year, was forced to end her Olympic journey at 15-13.
Zhang Ying, who surprisingly eliminated world number two Anne-Lise Touya of France in round 16, lost her temper when the referee awarded a decisive point to her rival when the score was deadlocked at 13-all.
"I think I won the bout but the referee gave the point to her," said Zhang Ying.
Other two berths in the semi-finals were taken away by American fencers Mariel Zagunis and Sada Jacobson, who defeated Leonore Perrus of France and Elena Jemayeva of Azerbaijan in the quarterfinals respectively.
(Xinhua News Agency August 17, 2004)