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Japan Fencers Triumph in Men’s Foil at Fencing World C’ships
16:27 JST, July 31, 2023
MILAN — Japan scooped the men’s team foil title Sunday at the 2023 Fencing World Championships, marking the first time for the nation to win a team event at the prestigious sports meet.
The four-man team — comprising Kyosuke Matsuyama, 26; Takahiro Shikine, 25; Kazuki Iimura, 19; and Kenta Suzumura, 24 — defeated China 45-35 in the final.
Japan once dominated the foil event, in which fencers try to hit an opponent’s torso with the tip of their sword-like weapons, with Yuki Ota bagging the individual title at the 2015 world championships.
Japan won a team bronze at the 2010 championships and took silver at the 2012 London Olympics. The nation also grabbed gold in the men’s epee team event — in which fencers are allowed to hit any part of an opponent’s body with the tip of their weapon — at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.
“I’m so happy to become a world champion and I want to continue making history,” said 2023 team captain Matsuyama after receiving a gold medal from Ota, who now serves as a board member of the International Fencing Federation. “It’s such an honor to accept a medal while standing on the podium.”
Japan won four events during the world championships, including a back-to-back victory in the women’s individual sabre event for 24-year-old Misaki Emura, equaling Japan’s gold medal haul at the 2022 world championships.
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