Thursday September 23, 2021

Hungary’s Szilagyi in dreamland after making fencing history

July 25, 2021

TOKYO: Hungary’s Aron Szilagyi made Olympic fencing history on Saturday in Tokyo as he took the sabre title for a third time in a row.

The 31-year-old defeated Italy’s Luigi Samele 15-7 in the final and becomes the first man to win three Olympic gold medals in the same individual event in the sport.

In the other medal event on day one of the fencing in the Japanese capital, China’s Sun Yiwen defeated Romania’s Ana Maria Popescu 11-10 in overtime to win a tense women’s epee gold -- like the men, the duo walked out to the theme tune of “Star Wars”.

Estonia’s Katrina Lehis won women’s epee bronze, with Kim Jung-hwan of South Korea taking bronze in the men’s sabre.

Szilagyi, who added Tokyo gold to his hauls from the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics, said he was in shock at what he had achieved.

“My first thought was that I can’t believe it, it’s not happening, it’s not real, it’s just a dream,” said the Hungarian, who has a reputation for being modest and down-to-earth.

“And (it) still is, I think I will need a couple of weeks, probably months, to believe what happened here.”

The right-hander breezed past Iran’s Ali Pakdaman 15-6 in the quarter-finals to set up a last-four showdown with Georgia’s Sandro Bazadze.