Engarde, Prêt, Allez: The Undiscovered Sport of Fencing
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Fencing | Olympic sports | London 2012

Fencing | Olympic sports | London 2012 | Engarde, Prêt, Allez: The Undiscovered Sport of Fencing | Scoop.it

The basics

 

Three types of weapon are used in Olympic Fencing. In bouts using the Foil and the slightly heavier Epée, hits are scored by hitting an opponent with the tip of the weapon. However, in Sabre, hits may also be scored with the edge of the weapon. Epée allows both fencers to score at the same time while Foil and Sabre have rules of right of way and timing that mean only one fencer can score a hit at a time.

Individual Fencing bouts last for three rounds of three minutes each, or until one fencer has scored 15 hits against their opponent. In the Team events, teams of three fencers compete against their opponents over a series of nine bouts, with the aim of accumulating a maximum of 45 hits.

 

All 10 medal events on the Fencing programme will be run in a knockout format. Players and teams will progress through the draw until the finals, which will decide the winners of the gold medals.

 

Olympic Fencing, past and present

 

At the first modern Olympic Games of 1896, the Fencing programme consisted of men’s Foil and Sabre events, with the Epée making its debut at Paris 1900. Women’s Fencing first featured at the 1924 Games.

 

At London 2012, the Fencing competition will be held at ExCeL, a multi-purpose events venue that will also host a number of other Olympic and Paralympic sports.

 

Jargon buster

 

Epée: The heaviest weapon and a true duelling sword: the whole body is a target, and opposing fencers can score simultaneous hits by landing their points at the same time.
Foil: A light weapon derived from the court sword, the Foil has very strict right-of-way and timing rules. The target area in foil bouts is the opponent’s torso.
Sabre: In contests involving the Sabre, which is derived from the cavalry sword, fencers may score hits with the edge and the tip of the blade on a target area limited to anywhere above the waist – this is because it was once considered ungentlemanly to hit an opponent’s horse!
Lunge: Extending your leading foot quickly in order to attack.
Parry: A defensive move, used to block your opponent’s blade.
Riposte: Scoring a hit after you’ve successfully executed a parry.
Piste: The field of play; also known as the strip.

 

Get involved

 

Fencing is a great way to improve your balance and coordination, which are useful skills for any sport. If you're interested in taking part, you can get started at a local club. Visit the websites of British Fencing and the International Fencing Federation for more informaiton.

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Fencing | Olympic sports | London 2012

Fencing | Olympic sports | London 2012 | Engarde, Prêt, Allez: The Undiscovered Sport of Fencing | Scoop.it

Fencing


The tense, testing sport of Fencing has featured at every Olympic Games of the modern era.

Key facts

Venue: ExCeL
Dates: Saturday 28 July – Sunday 5 August
Medal events: 10
Athletes: 212

 

Although sword fighting dates back thousands of years, Fencing as we now understand it really came of age as a sport in the 19th century. A tense, compelling battle of wits and technique, the sport is one of the few to have featured at every modern Olympic Games.

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