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Red
-17th August 2008, 05:08
1 - USA/FRA
2 - ITA
3 - GER
4 - USA/FRA
5 - CHN
5/6 - RUS
6/7 - UKR
8 - ROU
9 - JPN
9 - KOR
9 - POL
12 - ESP
12 - HUN

So, apparently "Fencing Is A Global Sport". 26 of the 30 medals have gone/will go to Europe and the USA with 4 going to China, Japan and Korea. 13% going to Asia. 0 going to Africa, South America or Australasia. Sounds incredibly European to me in spite of all that I read in Escrime telling me of the wonderful things being done in Africa and Asia :whistle:

Add in the fact that the coach responsible for the 2 Chinese medals is French and it becomes yet more Eurocentric.

Red
-17th August 2008, 11:56
1 - FRA
2 - ITA
3 - GER
4 - USA
5 - CHN
6 - RUS
6 - UKR
8 - ROU
9 - JPN
9 - KOR
9 - POL
12 - ESP
12 - HUN


Now with the results of the medal bouts in the MST taken into account.

kd5mdk
-17th August 2008, 16:53
How did MST move Germany ahead of USA?

Red
-17th August 2008, 17:01
How did MST move Germany ahead of USA?

It didn't. The USA's final position (1st or 4th) depended on their performance in the MST final.

tigger
-17th August 2008, 18:17
I have a more positive feeling about the globalness (winningest!?) of fencing.

Compared to 1996, 2 medals for Cuba (6.67%) and 28 for European nations. 0 for Asia and 0 for North America.

This time Europe 66.67%, Asia 13.33%, Americas 20%

This signifies a huge step forward in terms of the global spread of medals, and if the African countries as a group are somewhere near where the USA were in 1996, then look out for them at 2016 and beyond!

Fencing is not a closed sport like cycling/swimmng/athletics where success can be created by a conveyor belt of super-fit athletes in a relatively short time. It took the USA 10 years of investment and the expertise of a lot of top Russian coaches to get where they are today

gurney
-18th August 2008, 14:20
And I think that "a lot of good work going on in Africa" isn't quite the same measure as who wins at the Olympics?

Surely you wouldn't expect relatively new countries emerging into the sport to be winning over countries who have many generations of fencers.

It's like any sport - some countries culturally prefer those sports, and so they tend to produce more champions. I don't see anything wrong with it being more european to be honest. Does it really matter? :whistle:

TomA
-18th August 2008, 14:40
It matters because fencing wants to stay in the Olympics. And to do that it has to be a global sport which everyone can in theory enjoy, and not be an elitist sport which only a few countries are interested in because it boosts their medal count. At least, that's what I understand the criticism is.

gurney
-18th August 2008, 14:47
and equestrianism
rowing
even gymnastics

to name just a few...

could they not equally be considered elitest and non-golobal in that regard?

Again though, even if there are concerns, I don't think looking at the medal table helps much to discern whether all countries are being fairly represented. Most sports have a handful of countries which dominate. Take cycling for instance, ... oh no, sorry ... that's just GBR!!! :D

Look, I'm not trying to be antagonistic here, cos I don't much care to be honest, but I do think it's a bit odd making an issue out of the medal table.

TomA
-18th August 2008, 15:12
and equestrianism
rowing
even gymnastics

to name just a few...

could they not equally be considered elitest and non-golobal in that regard? I think they have similar criticisms to some extent, but not as much as fencing.


Most sports have a handful of countries which dominate. However it's significantly easier for other countries to become part of that handful. In fencing you can't get good by yourself, you need the money, coaching and good sparring partners.

That's true for other sports too, but at least in something like swimming you can push yourself to get better by yourself, in pretty much any pool, with a pair of trunks and a coach as you get into it. In fencing you need others to fence against, at a fencing club, with lots of expensive kit and you definitely need a good coach.

Etoile Argent
-18th August 2008, 15:42
That's true for other sports too, but at least in something like swimming you can push yourself to get better by yourself, in pretty much any pool, with a pair of trunks and a coach as you get into it. In fencing you need others to fence against, at a fencing club, with lots of expensive kit and you definitely need a good coach.

Agreed, but I did a few times last season (at the Bill Hoskyns and Oxfam Open) find that I won hits because of my footwork (which is much stronger than my bladework) - once where my opponent just ran out of breath & got extremely tired because she was expecting me to just make blade contact and not actually move my feet(!) - my response was touche et coulez; and the other where my opponent just totally mis-timed her hits as she wasn't expecting me to move more than the WE regulatory two steps forward and one step back, so I got lots of counter stop hits. I practice brief footwork routines every day that I am not training, and it does make a big difference - so it's a good idea to to practice what you can when not at club training.

Swords Crossed
-18th August 2008, 17:34
However it's significantly easier for other countries to become part of that handful. In fencing you can't get good by yourself, you need the money, coaching and good sparring partners.

That's true for other sports too, but at least in something like swimming you can push yourself to get better by yourself, in pretty much any pool

I don't think its entirely fair to use swimming as a benchmark. Although, if you want to get to the olympic level, even that is just as elitist as fencing in many respects. In the whole country, there are less than 25 olympic sized pools. In poorer countries that will be less. The bodysuits cost a fair bit too , I should think, though I'll grant you not as much as fencing kit I'll . As for the coaching and good sparring partners, every elite level athlete needs high level coaching, and nowadays have nutricianists, physios, psychologists, assistant coaches.

They also need good training partners to egg them on and help with technique. I do notice that you use the term 'sparring partner' - a term borrowed from that great, international working class retreat that is the world of Boxing. The nature of racing sports doesn't require direct interaction with another opponent, but any combat sport does. Judo, Boxing, Fencing and others cannot be undertaken alone. Nor can football, hockey, or any of the team sports.

Historically, fencing does have Old World aristocratic connotations, but that does not mean the modern sport is more elitist than any other sport that requires expensive kit.

Ok, rant over...

TomA
-18th August 2008, 17:52
I don't think its entirely fair to use swimming as a benchmark. Although, if you want to get to the olympic level, even that is just as elitist as fencing in many respects. In the whole country, there are less than 25 olympic sized pools. In poorer countries that will be less. The bodysuits cost a fair bit too , I should think, though I'll grant you not as much as fencing kit I'll . As for the coaching and good sparring partners, every elite level athlete needs high level coaching, and nowadays have nutricianists, physios, psychologists, assistant coaches.

They also need good training partners to egg them on and help with technique. I do notice that you use the term 'sparring partner' - a term borrowed from that great, international working class retreat that is the world of Boxing. The nature of racing sports doesn't require direct interaction with another opponent, but any combat sport does. Judo, Boxing, Fencing and others cannot be undertaken alone. Nor can football, hockey, or any of the team sports.

Historically, fencing does have Old World aristocratic connotations, but that does not mean the modern sport is more elitist than any other sport that requires expensive kit.
I'm not disagreeing personally, rather playing devil's advocate. However, that doesn't make a good enough story for the tabloids, magazines etc who want controversy and something to lay into. Bring on the perceived rich-boys sport.

And unfortunately, the media is fairly powerful, so discussions like this need to be had so that we've got a good answer for them.

Rdb811
-18th August 2008, 17:53
In the whole country, there are less than 25 olympic sized pools.


I thought there were only one or two in the UK (and th one at Crysal Palace was a tile length too short).

Rdb811
-18th August 2008, 17:56
Having checked, there are indeed 25 but many are 0m rather than full specification.

Swords Crossed
-18th August 2008, 18:16
I'm not disagreeing personally

Ditto, just making a point that need making

gurney
-18th August 2008, 18:20
The other thing just to point out about the medal table as a basis for concern, and the accusation that fencing is too euro-centric...

Europe is a pretty BIG place with a LOT of countries in it. The African nations are poorly represented in most sports throughout the olympics, not just fencing. It is an issue to do with funding across the board. But the more developed nations who have more freedom to seriously fund their top athletes in all sports.

Other than Africa, Europe is perhaps the most populous continent in terms of number of individual countries with sizeable populations from which to draw a range of athletes.

so it really isn't at all surprising that we see more european countries from a statistical point of view - indeed it would be odd if that wasn't the case quite aside from any historic or cultural reasons.

If the medal table tells us anything, statistically, it is in fact that fencing is in a very healthy place competitively right now - 12 different countries all coming away with a medal of some sort. that's very varied indeed!