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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 August, 2004, 17:48 GMT 18:48 UK
France win fencing gold
Damien Touya celebrates victory
Damien Touya defied injury to compete in the final
France won the men's team sabre gold medal in the fencing competition after beating Italy 45-42 in the final.

Damien Touya, whose right hand was sliced in the semi-final against the US, fought back on the last round against Luigi Tarantino to seal gold.

Touya's brother Gael and Julien Pillet, also contributed but Italian Aldo Montano, who won the individual sabre, was the star performer with 23 points.

Russia took the bronze after beating the United States 45-44.

Touya's place in the final was in doubt after he suffered the cut to the palm of his hand in the semi-final but, after taking a 10-minute time-out, the Frenchman defied the pain and secured a famous 45-44 victory.

Touya said: "I was very anxious about whether or not I would fence because of my injury. I was afraid that I would miss the final but the medical staff did a great job and now everything is okay."

He was cut by Keeth Smart when the pair lunged simultaneously with the scores level at 44-44 in their semi-final.

"It showed great courage for Damien to make that last play as he was in terrible pain," said French coach Christian Peeters.

"In the end it is the fencer who has the last word and he wanted to carry on. He was formidable."

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