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Sports

German Fencing Celebrates Pair of Gold Medals

A fencing double enabled Germany to take their gold haul to six with Benjamin Kleibrink beating Japan's Yuki Ota and Britta Heidemann beating Romania's Ana Maria Branza to win the men and women's individual events.

Heidemann celebrates after winning gold

Heidemann grabbed the gold medal 30 minutes after Kleibrink won his final

Benjamin Kleibrink and Britta Heidemann gave Germany its greatest ever day in fencing Wednesday, Aug. 13, when the pair won their individual finals to claim double Olympic gold.

Kleibrink secured Germany's first ever foil when he beat Japan's Yuki Ota while in the next match at the Fencing Hall in Beijing, Heidemann prevailed over Romania's Ana Maria Branza in the women's epee to get her country's first gold in that discipline.


The 23-year-old Kleibrink, who finished third in the foil at the 2007 World Championships in St. Petersburg and was competing in his first Olympics, beat Asian champion Ota 15-9 while in the bronze medal match, Italy's Salvatore Sanzo defeated China's Zhu Jun 15-14.

"It was amazing tonight, I completely brushed away the opposition," said Kleibrink, who defeated the fancied Zhu in his semi-final to give Germany its first fencing gold in 16 years. "Now I'm too tired to laugh. It's really, really great to be able to fight once in an arena such as this."

Heidemann beat Branza 15-11 in her epee final after overcoming China's Li Na 15-13 in a successful repeat of the 2007 World Championship final.

Li went on to lose to Ildiko Mincza-Nebald 15-11 in the bronze medal match as the Hungarian made up for the disappointment of narrowly missing out on a medal at the 2004 Athens Games when she finished fourth.

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