After a clear victory against the U.S. in the quarter final and a narrow defeat against Italy in the semifinal, the Hungarian men’s sabre national team managed to pocket the bronze medal following a victory against Germany.
The Hungarian sabre teams have won ten gold medals in the history of the Olympics so far, which means Hungary has been a great power in the sport. Áron Szilágyi’s recent (third) Olympic gold in single sabre, the 15th Olympic gold that Hungarian single sabre male athletes have won, apparently proved to be a good sign.
The team, consisting of Szilágyi, Tamás Decsi, Csanád Gémesi, and András Szatmári, was no match for the U.S. (45-36) in the quarterfinal, meaning that they could eye a medal once again. Although Italy proved to be slightly better in the semifinal (43-45), in the bronze final, Hungary had been leading clearly up until the end. As the last man up, Szilágyi gave up a significant portion of the lead, but it was still enough for the third level of the podium (45-40).
Áron Szilágyi. Photo by Tibor Illyés/MTI
“It was a big one, obviously, it has been a good game going on inside me to pull myself together after losing in the semi-final. It has been a real team effort,” András Szatmári, who blamed himself for the defeat against Italy, commented.
“One eye weeps, the other twinkles,” said Tamás Decsi, “we didn’t make it to the final, but we have won a bronze medal, so we have a reason to be happy. That’s what we came for, we secretly had gold in our eyes, but an Olympic medal is an Olympic medal,” he added.
From left to right: András Szatmári, Csanád Gémesi, Áron Szilágyi, and Tamás Decsi. Photo by Tibor Illyés/MTI
True to the odds, South Korea eventually grabbed the gold after easily (45-26) beating Italy in the final.
This third place has finally put an end to a bitter, 25-year-old series, as the Hungarian men’s sabre team hasn’t won any medals since the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 (when they came home with a silver). Another similar streak (no gold in team fencing since Seoul, 1988) can still be ended in Tokyo by the women’s épéé and sabre teams.
Csanád Gémesi. Photo by Tibor Illyés/MTI
Besides two gold and a silver, this is the second bronze medal for Hungary in Tokyo, which currently stands in twelfth place at the medal table.
Featured photo by Tibor Illyés/MTI