Men's foil gold for Lei Sheng is the first in Chinese history
Peking University, Aug. 22, 2012: Chinese fencer Lei Sheng won the gold in the men's foil, beating Alaaeldin Abouelkassem 15-13. This is China’s first gold medal ever in the men's foil.
On his way to the final, the 28-year-old surprised everyone by beating top seed Valerio Aspromonte and Andrea Baldini from Italy. It was the first time since 1900 that none of the final's contenders were European.
In the final, Lei took a big lead with 6-2 against Egypt’s Alaaeldin Abouelkassem, but his competitor fought back and at some point Abouelkassem was leading 13-11. In the last part of the game Lei won four points, overtaking Abouelkassem to win 15-13.
"I did not expect this, I was not thinking about this," Lei said through an interpreter, Reuters reports.
Lei wrote history by being the first athlete from China to win the Olympic gold in the foil. His medal was not the only surprise of the tournament, Abouelkassem also shocked the world. Beating two former world champions on his way to the silver, he became the first African to be on the Olympic podium in the event.
"I still cannot believe it. I had to take 15 minutes to realize what I did. I am very happy," Abouelkassem said of his silver medal, Reuters reports.
The bronze went to South Korean Byungchul Choi.
Edited by: Zhang Jiang