June 21 (Reuters) - Focus on fencing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics:
THE ABSOLUTE BASICS
* There are three main disciplines: epee, foil and sabre.
* The epee is a thrusting weapon and points are scored with the tip of the blade. The entire body is a valid target.
* The foil is also a thrusting weapon but points are only scored when the tip of the blade makes contact with the front or back of an opponent’s torso.
* The sabre is a striking and slashing weapon with the target area from the waist up.
* Points are known as “touches” and are scored using an electronic system. Green and red lights signify a touch.
* Retreating off the back of the fencing platform results in the opponent scoring a point.
HOW MANY MEDALS?
There are 12 gold medals up for grabs.
WHAT HAPPENED IN RIO?
In the men’s competition, gold medals were won by South Korea, France, Italy, Russia and Hungary.
The women’s events were dominated by Russia, who saw their best performance for two decades. Sabre fencer Sofya Velikaya dedicated her gold medal to “the athletes who were not able to compete in these Games,” referring to the Russian competitors banned from Rio due to a doping scandal.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT IN TOKYO?
In the men’s competition, Daniele Garozzo will bid to defend his individual foil title and will spearhead Italy’s challenge for the team foil gold.
In the women’s competition, Russian Olympic Committee athletes will want to repeat their 2016 success, buoyed by their haul of medals in the 2019 world championships where they won more medals than any other nation.
Tokyo marks the first time both team and individual events will be held in all three weapons for both male and female athletes.
WHEN IS IT HAPPENING?
July 24 to Aug. 1
WHERE IS IT HAPPENING?
Makuhari Messe, a convention centre in Tokyo’s neighboring Chiba Prefecture, that will also be used for the Olympic taekwondo and wrestling competitions.
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
Fencing was included in the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896 with the men’s individual sabre and foil competitions. It is one of only five sports to feature at every single Olympics.
WELL FANCY THAT
IOC President Thomas Bach won gold in the team foil competing for West Germany at the Montreal Games in 1976. (Reporting by Sakura Murakami; Editing by Peter Rutherford )