Fencing at the 2012 Olympic Games was held at the ExCeL London between July 28 and August 5, with 212 athletes who competed for gold.
Fencing bouts take place on a strip 14m long by 1.5m to 2m wide. At the Olympic Games, the competition format is a straight direct elimination; with Individual bouts lasting until 15 hits are scored or nine minutes (three rounds of three minutes each) of effective Fencing time has passed.
For the Team events there are nine relays fenced in five hits (or three-minute) intervals. The first team that reaches 45 hits (or is leading after time has run out) advances to the next round. Different rules for each event specify when, where and how a valid hit can be scored. Weapons are connected to an electronic scoring machine that registers hits automatically. The basic position in Fencing, assumed at the start of a Bout, is the ’en garde’ position in which fencers are balanced and ready to either attack or retreat. Common moves during the bout include the Lunge, Rapid Attacking Moves; the Parry, the Deflection of an opponent’s blade; the Riposte, a Counterattack after a Parry; and the Fleche, a running attack.
Foil: a light weapon developed from the rapier, formerly used as a practice weapon. For a valid hit, the point of the blade must contact the opponent’s trunk. The competitor under attack must deflect the attack before being allowed to score.
Épée: a modern weapon derived from the duelling sword. The Épée is heavier than the Foil, with a stiff dual-edged blade. Recorded by an electronic system, hits can be scored with the point of the sword anywhere on the opponent’s body. In this event, the first fencer to strike his or her opponent scores a point. A double hit occurs when both fencers score a hit at the same time, in which case they each score a point.
Sabre: the modern version of the Cavalry Sword. Hits can be made with the edge or the point anywhere on the opponent’s upper body above the belt, including the head and arms. Contact with another part of the body does not halt the bout. As in Foil, the competitor under attack must fend off the attack before being allowed to score.
All 10 medal events on the Fencing program are ran in a knockout format. Players and teams progress through the draw until the final, which decides the gold-medal winners.