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Italy's Vezzali wins historic fencing gold

Beijing, China (Sports Network) - Maria Valentina Vezzali of Italy made fencing history Monday at the Beijing Olympics, winning gold in the women's individual foil competition.

Vezzali defeated Korea's Hyunhee Nam in the final bout to become the first fencer in Olympic history to win three individual foil golds at three consecutive Games. In addition to winning gold in Sydney, Athens and now Beijing, Vezzali also took the silver in this event at the 1996 Atlanta Games and has two gold medals in the team foil competition.

The Italian needed to overcome a game Hyunhee in the gold medal match and was able to pull out a 6-5 victory. Vezzali jumped out to a 3-0 lead against her opponent, but Hyunhee tied the bout at 3-3. The fencers were also knotted at 4-4 and 5-5 before Vezzali registered the winning touch four seconds before the match was set to go to overtime.

Hyunhee picked up the silver medal after finishing eighth at the Athens Games.

Italy also secured bronze in this event as Margherita Granbassi defeated her countrywoman Giovanna Trillini, 15-12. Trillini failed to pick up her fifth individual medal in this her fifth Summer Games.

08/11 09:47:09 ET


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