Fencing is one of the sporting events that has been part of every edition of the modern Olympic Games and on Monday in Tokyo, Bhavani Devi will become the first Indian to participate in it.
Bhavani Devi is competing in the women’s individual sabre. Her official FIE rank is 42 and she is seeded 29 at the Games out of 36 competitors in her category. She made a winning start on Monday.
Schedule for Bhavani Devi's fencing event
|5:30||Women's Sabre Individual Table of 64||CA Bhavani Devi vs TUN Ben Azizi Nadia (ranked 384)||Bhavani Devi won 15-3.|
|7:40||Women's Sabre Individual Table of 32||Bhavani vs FRA Manon Brunet (seeded 4)|
|10:00-17:00||Women's Sabre Individual further rounds||TBD|
An introduction to fencing
Two competitors, each holding a weapon in one hand, face each other to strike their opponent on a valid target area of the body. There are three different events: foil, épée, and sabre. Weapons, target area and priority rules differ among those events.
Fencing has been featured in every modern Olympic Games since 1896, starting with the individual men’s foil and sabre. Women’s individual foil was added at the Paris 1924 Games, women’s individual épée was added at the Atlanta 1996 Games and women’s individual sabre was added at the Athens 2004 Games. In the Tokyo 2020 Games, all 12 events (foil/épée/sabre, women/men, individual/team) will be held.
Individual events in foil and épée are contested over three periods of three minutes (or until time runs out), with the winner being either the first to reach 15 points or whomever has the most points after the three rounds are complete. In the case of a tie, the match goes to sudden-death overtime. In sabre, two periods are held with a break taking place when the first fencer reaches eight points.— via Olympics.com
Basics of fencing
— via FIE
- Electrical scoring is used. When the blade makes contact with the target area, it completes an electric circuit and triggers a red or a green light depending on which athlete lands.
- Winner is either the first to reach 15 points or whomever has the most points after the rounds are complete. In sabre, two periods are held with a break taking place when the first fencer reaches eight points.
- The offensive actions are the attack, the riposte and the counter-riposte. The defensive actions are the parries. Defensive actions must be affected exclusively with the weapon.
- The attack is the initial offensive action made by extending the arm and continuously threatening the opponent’s target, preceding the launching of the lunge or flèche.
- The riposte is the offensive action made by the fencer who has parried the attack. The counter-riposte is the offensive action made by the fencer who has parried the riposte.
- The field of play which is used for fencing is called the piste.
- The sabre is a weapon for thrusting and cutting with both the cutting edge and the back of the blade.
- Only hits which arrive on the target are counted as valid. The target comprises any part of the body above a horizontal line drawn between the top of the hip bones and then horizontally round the fencer’s trunk. (See below figure)
- At sabre, it is forbidden to protect the target area or to substitute another part of the body for the target area, by covering it (
More details about scoring and priority in these two short videos:
(With IOC and International Fencing Federation inputs)
You can see sample scoring for a sabre match here.
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