Zhong takes first ever men's fencing gold for China

Society Materials 12 August 2008 20:30 (UTC +04:00)

Zhong Man secured the first ever men's fencing gold for China Tuesday when he defeated France's Nicolas Lopez 15- 9 in the men's sabre final at the Beijing Games.

The Asian champion's victory over the silver-medallist from Athens four years ago means Zhong becomes only the second Chinese fencer to take Olympic gold. Luan Jujie achieved the feat in the women's foil at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.

Mihai Covaliu of Romania defeated France's Julien Pillet to take bronze.

Zhang lagged behind his opponent after the first round but the 25- year-old said he was able to deal with the pressure.

"My coach told me to be more aggressive and more active in attacking and so I did it and the rest of the bout went smoothly," said Zhong, who is coached by Frenchman Christian Bauer.

"I feel as though I am dreaming and now I'm more confident about the team event."

The fencing competition continues Wednesday with two medal events up for decision, the men's foil where Lei Sheng is a medal hope for China, and the women's epee.