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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | Sport-By-Sport Report : FENCING

France and Russia Win Team Titles

July 25, 1996|From Times Wire Services

Laura Flessel, who as a small girl swapped glamorous dancing shoes for a foil and face-mask, claimed her second gold medal in 72 hours when she led France to victory over Italy in the women's team epee.

Flessel, born on the island of Guadeloupe in the French West Indies, had held off the challenge of compatriot Valerie Barlois on Sunday to win the individual epee gold.

The pair teamed up with Sophie Moresee-Pichot to beat Italy 45-33 and prevent the Italians from repeating their triumph in the men's team epee on Tuesday.

Flessel's feat was matched by Russian Stanislav Pozdnyakov who led his country to a 45-25 victory over Hungary in the men's sabre team final after winning the sabre solo event three days ago.

Italy won the bronze medal in the men's sabre team final.

The dreadlocked Flessel, who lives in Paris, was unknown to everyone except fencing fans a few days ago but has the style and personality to raise the profile of her sport.

She transformed the final by rattling up 15 touches in a single bout to turn a 10-15 deficit into a 25-23 lead. The Italians never recovered.

Russia's women took bronze in the team epee after beating Hungary, 45-44.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

MEDALISTS / Fencing

MEN'S TEAM SABRE

Gold: Russia

Silver: Hungary

Bronze: Italy

*

WOMEN'S TEAM EPEE

Gold: France

Silver: Italy

Bronze: Russia

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