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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | FENCING

Romania's Badea Outlasts Italians

July 23, 1996|Times Wire Services

Romania's Laura Badea prevented an Italian sweep in the individual foil competition, defeating defending gold medalist Valentina Vezzali, 15-10, to win the women's title.

Alessandro Fuccini scored on a quick touch to break open a close match, defeating France's Lionel Plumenail, 15-12, to win the men's competition.

Badea had even more trouble in the semifinals with another Italian fencer, Giovanna Trillini, winning, 15-14, in an extra period after falling behind, 6-0. Badea scored six successive points to go ahead, 14-13, before Trillini attacked for a touch with nine seconds left in the third period. Badea then won 14 seconds into the extra period.

Vezzali advanced to the medal round with a 15-10 quarterfinal victory over Ann Marsh of the United States. The other two U.S. women, Margaret Paxton and Felicia Zimmerman, lost in the first round, as did all three of the U.S. men--Eric Bravin of Los Angeles, Cliff Bayer and Peter Devine.

The day's biggest fireworks followed a third-round men's match, in which Philippe Omnes of France defeated Elvis Gregory of Cuba, 15-14.

Gregory threw down his weapon in disgust, kicked a wall and refused to shake hands with Omnes. As the two men left the arena, they began pushing each other and had to be pulled apart by security men and police.

Gregory claimed Omnes insulted him just before scoring the winning point, and that Omnes teammates had been taunting him from the stands.

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Medalists / Fencing

MEN'S INDIVIDUAL FOIL

Gold: Alessandro Puccini, Italy

Silver: Lionel Plumenail, France

Bronze: Franck Boidin, France

WOMEN'S INDIVIDUAL FOIL

Gold: Laura Badea, Romania

Silver: Valentina Vezzali, Italy

Bronze: Giovanna Trillini, Italy

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