Horndiplomat-Hungary took its third women’s gold in Olympic fencing since 2000 as Emese Szasz bounced back from a first-match loss in London to beat Italy’s twice world champion Rossella Fiamingo on Saturday.
France came close to ending a long medal drought in Olympic fencing, but a breakout performance by 43rd-ranked Lauren Rembi came up short in the bronze medal bout.
Sun Yiwen’s third-place finish helped Chinese fans forget the shocking 15-8 loss by her team mate Xu Anqi, ranked first in the world, to Frenchwoman Marie-Florence Candassamy in her first bout.
Hungarian women are second only to the Italians in Olympic medals, but had not topped the podium since Tímea Nagy took back-to-back golds in the epee event in Sydney and Athens.
France left the Games empty-handed four years ago in London for the first time since 1960 and the women’s individual epee event extended their long wait.
Rembi had looked medal-bound as she silenced the roaring Brazilian crowd and beat local favorite Nathalie Moellhausen in the quarter-finals.
Italian-born Moellhausen, fencing under Brazil’s flag at the Olympics for the first time at her grandmother’s request, got the arena roaring with early victories over American Kelley Hurley and France’s Candassamy. It was the best finish for a Brazilian woman in Olympic fencing history.
(Editing by Ed Osmond)