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Sunday, 17 September, 2000, 14:48 GMT 15:48 UK
Nagy wins surprise fencing gold
(l-r) Gianna Gianna Habluetzel-Buerki, Timea Nagy and Laura Flessel-Colovic
Timea Nagy celebrates with her vanquished rivals
Hungarian Timea Nagy caused a major upset by winning the gold medal in the women's individual epee fencing competition.

Nagy beat French favourite and reigning world champion Laura Flessel-Colovic in the semi-finals and went on to overcome Gianna Habluetzel-Buerki of Switzerland in the final.

Flessel-Colovic, a winner in Atlanta four years ago in both the team and individual epee, beat Russia's Tatiana Logounova to win bronze.

Nagy, a 30-year-old student from Budapest, who was considered Hungary's No. 3 going into the competition, trailed Habluetzel-Buerki 6-3 after the first of three three-minute rounds in the final.

But the 1997 and 1999 world champion in the team Epee came back in the second round to end it tied 7-7 and closed out the match with just seconds left in the third, winning 15-11.

Laura Flessel-Colovic
Flessel-Colovic had to be happy with bronze

She had also come from behind against Flessel-Colovic.

"That's very typical," she said. "I let the opponent gain a bit of ground and then I attack.

"I'm generally a very happy person but this is the biggest glory of my life."

Habluetzel-Buerki blamed herself for letting Nagy come back from 6-3 down.

"I wanted to finish it off a bit too quickly. She let me come at her and that's absolutely her strength," she said.

It is the first major individual win of Nagy's career. She was 12th at last year's world championships in Seoul and just 10th at a World Cup lead-up event in Sydney.

Flessel-Colovic, a 28-year-old part-time model originally from Guadaloupe, advanced steadily through the day but fell to Nagy 15-14 in a nail-biting semi-final.

I'm generally a very happy person but this is the biggest glory of my life
  Timea Nagy
Fencing gold medallist

"I've been to two Olympics and won a medal each time," she said. "But I came for gold... You have to know how to win but also how to lose.

"Going away with a medal still warms your heart even if it's slightly disappointing."

But Flessel was the only favourite to survive to the finals.

Ousted in the qualifying rounds were Hungarians Ildiko Mincza and Gyongyi Szalay while fencing superpower Italy failed to get a competitor into the finals.

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