Australia and Olympic Fencing
Australia has not yet won a fencing medal at the Olympics. The best-placed athlete has been Greg Benko, who finished sixth in the individual foil in Montreal 1976. More recently, the men's epée team placed eighth in Sydney 2000 and Evelyn Halls finished 12th in women's epée in Athens 2004. Ivan Lund, a four-time Olympic fencer, carried the Australian flag at the Opening Ceremony in Tokyo 1964.
Australia has not qualified a fencing athlete since Beijing 2008 where Jo Halls and Amber Parkinson were the nation's two representatives.
Fencing has evolved from an ancient form of combat to one of the most technical and tactical sports of the Olympic Games. It is one of only five sports to continually feature at the Olympics since Athens 1896 – the others being athletics, swimming, cycling and gymnastics.
Competitive fencing flourished in Europe in the latter part of the 19th century and was included on the program of the first modern Olympics. Women’s fencing was introduced in Paris 1924.
Foil, epée and sabre are the three weapons used in the sport of fencing, in which both men and women compete. The target areas, as well as the blade, differ for the three weapons.
The fencer tries to score the total hits needed to win, while at the same time trying to avoid being hit by the opponent. Fencers are connected to an electronic scoring system that indicates if a hit has occurred. Bouts are held on a 14 metre by 1.5 metre piste (platform).
There are team and individual competitions each with a single-elimination format. Team events consist of three fencers each competing against a member of the opposing team. The bout is decided by the combined total of hits at the end. The team events - foil, epée and sabre - rotate from Games to Games.