One of the four sports featured in every Olympic Games since 1896, fencing is the modern manifestation of an ancient form of combat, practiced indoors.
Two competitors meet on a 14m stage using either the foil, epee or sabre. The individual competition comprises a dual with direct elimination (as of the final 32 competitors), the winner being the first to score 15 touches. If, at the 9-minute mark, no-one has attained 15 touches, the fencer with the most touches is declared winner.
The team competition, also by direct elimination, is conducted on a relay basis with three fencers trying to attain 45 touches to win the bout. Each assault may last a total of three minutes. Three types of blades are used: epee (solid, triangular blade), foil (flexible, rectangular blade), sabre (flexible, triangular blade). - (AFP)