August 11, 2008

First Day’s Fencing Competition to Test Chinese Fencers

First day's fencing competition to test Chinese fencers

BEIJING, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- The first day's fencing competition on Saturday will be a serious test for Chinese women sabreurs' luck and skills, as players like Tan Xue has been regarded as the country's most hopeful to win a fencing gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

China's top women sabreur Tan, together with her teammates Bao Yingying and Huang Haiyang, is tasked with breaking the country's 24- year hiatus of Olympic fencing gold.

However, it will never be easy for the dream to come true. Tough rivals for the Chinese are mainly from the United States, including Athens gold medalist Zagunis Mariel, world number one Jacobson Sada and their teammate Ward Becca.

At the Athens Games, Tan beat Jacobson to advance to the final in which she lost to another American player Zagunis, winning one of the three fencing silver medals China got at Games.

According to the competition schedule for Saturday, Tan Xue and Huang Haiyang will face Jacobson in the preliminaries, while Bao Yingying will meet with Zagunis and Ward.

China has not seen an Olympic fencing gold since the 1984 Los Angeles Games. Tan is seen as one of the most hopeful players to make the breakthrough this year when the Games is held China.

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