China won unprecedented three silver medals in the fencing
competition of the Athens Olympic Games, but the regret of no gold
medal will haunt over Chinese fencers for another four years.
Tan Xue won China's first silver medal in the women's sabre
individuals, while Wang Lei came out from nowhere to snap down the
runner-up in the men's epee individuals.
The men's foil team lost in a controversial bout against Italy
in its second consecutive finals appearance with the Federation
International d'Escrime (FIE)calling a meeting to discuss the
refereeing of the finals on Monday.
China has the shot to a gold medal in each of the three events
but failed to recuperate the glorious moment in 1984.
Luan Jujie won China the first Olympic fencing gold medal when
she triumphed in the women's foil individual event in Los
Angeles,the United States.
"I feel sorry that we didn't win a gold medal in Athens, but
three silver medals are enough to show the world the development
and improvement of Chinese fencing," said Cai Jiadong, director of
China's Cycling and Fencing Administration Center.
"I'm much happier to see some young players to show their
blooming futures in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games," Cai said.
Tan, 20, Wang, 23, and the 23-year-old Wu Hanxiong, member of
the men's foil squad, compose the backbone of a talented young
"Our young athletes played a better tournament. What I know from
the Games is that we have a young team full of potentials and
talents," said Zhao Lizhong, head coach of the men's epee team.
"We fell short again to claim the title, but I don't have
regrets," said Wang Haibin, one of the three foilsmen who
participated in the Sydney Games. "We played like champions, and we
showed them our bests. I have nothing to regret for."
(Xinhua News Agency August 23, 2004)