When the final female modern pentathletes unhooked from their reels on Sunday, it marked the end of fencing at the London 2012 Olympics. Later on that day the closing ceremonies ended the Games as the Olympic Flag was handed over to Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympics. Here are some numbers regarding fencing in London:
The number of overall hits scored in London 2012 (in the individual and team events). That total is 211 more than what was scored in Beijing.
Including the modern pentathlon (which includes an epee portion), the number of athletes who competed in fencing.
The number of medals won by Italy all-time. By winning 7 medals at this year’s Games, Italy passed up the former record holders, France, who have 120 medals.
Years since France failed to earn a spot on the medal podium, a streak dating to the 1960 Rome Olympics and lasting 12 Olympiads.. Italy holds the record for most Olympics in a row with at least one medal by scoring a medal in every Olympics since 1904 for a streak of 24 Olympiads. They have earned a fencing medal in 26 out of the 28 Olympics; the two times with no medals was when they failed to send a fencer. France has won roughly 17% of all their Olympic medals via fencing.
The number of hits two-time defending women’s saber champion Mariel Zagunis (USA) allowed in her first three bouts (all wins) and the number of hits she allowed in her final two (both losses). Her victor in her semifinal bout, Kim Ji-Yeon (South Korea), also allowed 22 hits in her first three. 22 hits against is the record for fewest against in the opening three bouts of a women’s saber event at the Olympics.
The average margin of victory in the Italian women’s foil team’s three bouts, the most dominating run by a champion in team competition since the Olympics adopted the 3-athlete relay format in 1996. Valentina Vezzali, Elisa di Francisca, Arianna Errigo and Ilaria Salvatori competed for the Italians. The previous record for margin of victory was 15.3, which was held by the same nation’s men’s foil team in 2004.
Valentina Vezzali’s (Italy) Olympic bout-winning streak in individual events, which was halted by compatriot Arianna Erigo in the women’s foil event. The streak dated back to the first round in 2000 after Vezali lost to Laura Badea in the final of the 1996 event.
The number of different nations that earned a spot on the medal podium in London, tying the Beijing Games for the most different nations winning a fencing medal at a single Olympics.
Years since Italy last lost a men’s team foil match in the Olympics. Their last defeat was a 45-32 loss to China in the semifinals of the 2000 Sydney Games. Italy later avenged that defeat with a 45-42 win over China in the gold medal match in 2004. They defeated 45-39 Japan in this year’s edition.
The number of medals won by South Korea, which ties them with the USA in 2008 for the most medals earned by a non-European nation in a single Olympics in the past century. South Korea won a medal in all of the disciplines (6 currently), a feat last achieved by the Unified Team in 1992 (when there were only 4 disciplines contested).
The number of different countries that won one of the 6 individual events. It marks the first time since 2000 that a country failed to produce two individual Olympic champions.
The number of Olympics in a row that a Hungarian did not win the individual men’s saber event until Aaron Szilagyi earned the top spot in London. Bence Szabo last won a gold for Hungary in 1992 in the event that is historically dominated by Hungary: they have won 13 of the 28 golds awarded all-time in the men’s individual saber.
The number of nations that won their first fencing medals. Rubuen Limardo of Venezuela (gold in men’s epee), Bartosz Piasecki of Norway (silver in men’s epee) and Alaaldin Abouelkassem of Egypt (silver in men’s foil) were the winners.
1 hour, 11 minutes
In arguably one of the most dramatic moments in London of any sport, the time that Shin A-Lam (South Korea) spent on the piste after her opponent Britta Heidemann (Germany) scored three doubles and one single in one second in overtime of their women’s semifinal bout. Shin stayed on the piste as Korean officials attempted to lodge a protest of the result, in which Heidemann managed to sneak over two seconds of action into a single second of fencing time. The protest was disallowed and both fencers wound up losing their final bout as Heidemann left with the silver and Shin finished empty-handed in fourth. Shin would later earn a silver in women’s team epee with her Korean teammates.