Salvatore Sanzo and his Italian team survived a storming
last-round surge by China to win the gold medal of the men's team
foil competition by 45-42 Saturday at the Helliniko Fencing
Dong Zhaozhi scored seven straight points to tie the game at
42-42 before Sanzo, silver medallist of the individual event, hung
onto win the next three thrusts.
"The Chinese team was much better tonight than they were in
previous encounters," Simone Vanni said. "But we have never lost
since Andrea (Cassara), Sanzo and me, the world top three ranked
fencers, formed the Italian team."
"We lost only once in the past two years. That was because we
didn't have Andrea with us," Vanni added.
Ye Chong, 35, took an early lead at 4-0 before Vanni won the
second round by 8-2 against Dong.
The two sides changed the lead twice in the following two
rounds, but some controversial decisions by a Hungarian referee
Bela Jozsef Hidasi helped Italy jump ahead 30-23 after six
China has complained to the Federation International d
'Escrime(FIE) about Hidasi. The FIE will call a meeting Sunday to
discuss the judgment of referees including Poland's Piotr
Kielpikowski and Spain's Luis Jose Alvarez.
"But the result is unchangeable. We lost it. That's it," said
Chinese head coach Guo Ying.
Despite solid performances in the quarter-finals and
semi-finals, China's top choice Wang Haibin did not play in the
"We had never beaten the Italian team since we lost them in the
world championships in 2003. We know they are a better team," said
the 31-year-old Wang. "So we changed the line-up to see what will
All the three members of the Sydney Olympics silver-medal squad
came out of retirement to play for their last Games in Athens.
"I don't think it is a regret to win another silver medal. We've
played a good game and showed them we can do it," Dong said.
Russia won the bronze medal in a 3-4 placings finals against the
United States, winning 45-38.
(Xinhua News Agency August 22, 2004)