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Page last updated at 13:27 GMT, Tuesday, 12 August 2008 14:27 UK

China's Zhong takes sabre gold


Video - Early exit for GB fencer O'Connell

China won Olympic gold in the men's individual sabre final when Zhong Man beat France's Nicolas Lopez 15-9.

Five-time world champion Stanislav Pozdniakov lost to Lopez early on while Athens champion Aldo Montano of Italy lost 15-14 to Spain's Jorge Pina.

"It's a dream come true. I'm very happy and moved," said Zhong.

Britain's Alex O'Connell went out in the first round after he lost 15-14 to Nikolay Kovalev of Russia in a desperately close contest.

Zhong hopes his gold medal, China's first in fencing for more than two decades, may finally silence complaints from his parents that he has grown up uncivilised because of the long hours he spends training.

The swordsman hoped to be a basketball player until a fencing coach in his southern hometown spotted his potential.

But his unhappy parents opposed the training because they feared his education was suffering.

"They were worried my 'cultural level' was slipping," he said, using a common Chinese term for all-round education and manners.

"I guess I have made up for my shortcomings in other ways now. I'll have time to study later," said the 25-year-old.

see also
Vezzali claims women's foil gold
11 Aug 08 |  Fencing

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