Baldini would like to get a medal at his first Olympics. Photo S.Timacheff/

After a horrible result in the individual foil event, the Italian men’s foil team are determined to win Gold and repeat their 2004 performance.  They compete at the ExCeL Center on Sunday as they attempt to salvage their pride pride after their unexpected failure to win any individual medals.

With Andrea CASSARA, Valerio ASPROMONTE and Andrea BALDINI (ITA) ranking No.1, No.8 and No.6 in the world respectively, they will be hard to beat. Italy’s head-to-head score against all opponents in recent years is an impressive 11-2. Italy’s women foil fencers won team gold and had a clean sweep of the individiual medals.

World champions China are the second seeds and include individual Olympic champion LEI Sheng in their team. Their first match is against Japan, who owns a 2-0 record against China this season.

Third seeds Germany have won two world cup events this year and were bronze medallists at the world and European championships.  Germany holds a 3-1 record against their first opponent, Russia.

France took silver at the world and European championships and come in as the 4th seed. Their fencers will be desperate for any medal because if they fail, France will go home from an Olympic Games without a fencing medal for the first time. First they have to overcome a young and motivated US team.

The US team (Race Imboden, Alex Massialas, Miles Chamley-Watson and reserve Gerek Meinhardt) is the youngest of the foil teams and is ranked 5th.  Their best result this far has been a 5th place finish in La Coruña this past February.  The US team has winning records against Italy (1-0) and Japan (1-0) this season, but will have to get past France first.  Against France they are 0-2, losing 45-44 in July and 45-39 in January.

The Russians performed well in the individual foil and will be looking to upset Germany, their opponents in the quarterfinals.

The battle to avoid last place will be between Egypt and Great Britain. The Egyptians will be relying on their top performer from the individual event, silver medallist Alaaeldin ABOUELKASSEM (EGY), while the British will be hoping that, collectively, they can make up for their poor individual performances.

Season Records (All FIE competitions 2011-2012 season) :
Italy: 20-2
China: 13-10
Germany: 17-6
France: 15-9
USA: 14-9
Russia: 14-9
Japan: 11-8
Egypt: 11-13
Great Britain: 12-8