Kovalev takes bronze in Olympic sabre

Russia's Nikolay Kovalev celebrates his victory over Germany's Nicolas Limbach at the end of their Men's Sabre fencing event at the London 2012 Olympics (AFP Photo / Alberto Pizzoli)
Russia’s Nikolay Kovalev has won a bronze medal in the individual men’s sabre at the London Olympics.

­The gold went to Aron Szilagyi of Hungary, who comfortably overcame Italy’s Diego Occhiuzzi in the final, winning 15-8.

Meanwhile, Kovalev took on Rares Dumitrescu of Romania in the third-place match and prevailed 15-10, despite experiencing pain in his leg.

“You can tell a lot from appearance,”
the Russian told Sportbox.ru. “For example, I looked at the Romanian in the bronze match and understood that I should put him under pressure from the start.”  

Kovalev caused a major upset on his way to the bronze, beating the world’s No.1 fencer, Nicolas Limbach of Germany, 15-12 in the quarter-finals.

“These are the Olympics, this can happen,
” Limbach told AP. “It shows you how tight the top in sabre really is.”

“I never felt I had the momentum with me. I had to fight hard for each of these points. He left me few opportunities to play my own game and he had some really good attacks,” he added.

But Szilagyi had a bit too much for Kovalev in the semis, with the Hungarian completing a confident 15-7 win.

“I'm so tired,” Kovalev said. “The most difficult match of all was in the semi-finals. I couldn’t capture the initiative after the big break. I didn’t have enough time to rest. Hungary’s Aron Szilagyi is very strong physically and he beat me in terms of endurance.”

Another Russian, Aleksey Yakimenko, got to the last eight, before losing to Daryl Homer of the US by just a single point, going down 14-15.

For now, Team Russia have a tally of one gold and two bronze medals at the London Games.

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