Friday, November 29, 2013
2 fencing team events cut for Rio Games
PARIS -- The men's saber team event and the women's foil team event have been dropped for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The International Fencing Federation made the decision Friday at its congress in Paris.
The federation has been rotating two team events out of the Olympics since the 2008 Beijing Games. The team events in men's epee and women's saber were left out of the 2012 London Olympics.
In Rio, men and women will still be able to compete individually in the epee, foil and saber. The team events will be men's epee and foil and women's epee and saber.
The qualification criteria for Rio will be similar to those for London, with a quota of 212 athletes, including eight spots for host country Brazil.
Alisher Usmanov, the Russian billionaire who is president of the fencing federation, said his group has "followed the logical order of rotation."
"I promise that we will not give up our hopes to obtain the two additional medals and will continue our efforts," he said.
The federation also announced that the Russian cities of Kazan and Moscow will host the world championships in 2014 and 2015, respectively.
Kazan and Moscow were the only two cities that applied on Friday. Sofia, Bulgaria, withdrew for financial reasons. Leipzig, Germany, and Doha, Qatar, are bidding to host the worlds in 2017.
The federation is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. New IOC President Thomas Bach is a former fencer who won a team foil gold medal at the 1976 Olympics.