Olympic fencing: Italy sweeps podium in individual foil

Updated: Jul 29, 2012, 11:55 AM IST

London: Italy took all three medals in the women`s individual foil fencing competition Saturday, with Elisa Di Francisca beating Arianna Errigo on sudden death in the final.

The match between two athletes on their Olympic debuts was tied at 11-11 after Di Francisca cancelled out Errigo`s earlier lead before taking the gold with a quick lunge at the start of the sudden death period.

"I`m so much happy for it because this last one against Arianna was such a tough fight, especially from a psychological point of view," Di Francisca said.

"Now I`m overwhelmed with feelings, I can`t explain it, I can`t describe it. The only thing that comes into my mind now, is that I`ve worked so much to get this. I wanted it so bad, and now I finally got it. All that work paid off in the end."

Italy`s podium sweep had earlier been assured when five-time Olympic gold medal-winner Valentina Vezzali beat South Korea`s Hyun Hee Nam in the bronze medal match.

Vezzali had come to London seeking her fourth individual Olympic gold in a row, but was forced to settle for bronze after losing to Errigo in the semifinal.

Hyun made the veteran fight all the way for her consolation prize, as the lead changed hands regularly in an engrossing match with Hyun leading before Vezzali fought back to draw the match at 12-12 before sealing the crucial 13th point to take bronze.

IANS