RIO DE JANEIRO, August 13. /TASS/. Russian foil fencing team has scored a stunning factory in the final of the team tournament at the 2016 Olympics, its head coach, Ilgar Mamedov told the media.
In the final, Russia’s Timur Safin, Aleksei Cheremisinov and Artur Akhmatkhuzin won the gold. They outperformed France by 45 points to 41. The United States has the bronze.
"It’s driving me crazy. It was like Alexandre Dumas’ Twenty Years After," Mamedov said. "You may be hopelessly losing a battle at the beginning, but you can emerge the winner in the end if you don’t give up! There’ve been three heavy fights. Morale was the key factor for success in all. But technical and tactical flaws were may."
"The guys have showed everybody they are true warriors," Mamedov said. "Never give up and fight to the bitter end. This is what Olympics are all about."
It was Russian foil fencers’ first team victory since the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. Mamedov himself was one of those who won that gold.
He believes that at a certain point the French rivals got a little bit arrogant, thus making a big mistake.
"True, many had already lost faith Russia had chances to win, but we still nurtured the hope," Mamedov said. "The French must’ve had a high-handed thought they’d beaten us already. They made the last substitution and that was their mistake. They wished to let a fourth athlete take part and get a medal. That self-assurance let them down."
"Letting a substitute fight Akhmatkhuzin was a gross error. I know what I’m saying," Mamedov said. "One of ours, Dmitry Zherebchenko, has remained without a medal, but the three others have the gold. Artur is unbendable. He is a man with a willpower of iron. Since the Budapest world championships he has had two surgeries to win a medal at the championships in Moscow. Now is an Olympic champion.".