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Around the Piste: Di Francisca returns to gold medal match

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Semifinals


Di Francisca faced Boubakri in their semifinal showdown. Di Francisca fell into a two point hole as Boubakri came out strong but the defending gold medal champion scored three quick touches to take a 7-6 at the end of the second period.


She built her lead in the third taking a three point advantage despite getting hit with a red card. She won the bout 12-9 to book her ticket to the gold medal match.


Russian teammates Inna Deriglazova and Aida Shanaeva had a rematch of their gold medal bout at the World Championships in 2015 where Deriglazova took home the top spot. Deriglazova commanded the entire bout, only allowing her teammate to score three points en route to victory.


Quarterfinals


Di Francisca fenced Liu in her quarterfinal match. With Liu trailing 10-14, Di Francisca scored the final touch, inching closer to the medal bouts.


Guyart trailed early in her bout with Deriglazova as the Russian took a commanding seven point lead at the end of the first. She was unable to overcome her early deficit as Deriglazova advanced to the semifinals.


Shanaeva took on Ysaora Thibus of France. Thibus had a 13-12 lead as time wound down in the second. Shanaeva would tie at the top of the third and score the final two touches to win 15-13.


Harvey drew Tunisian fencer Ines Boubakri and found herself down 6-12 midway through the second period. Harvey stormed back scoring six consecutive touches to tie it at the end of two. Boubakri won 15-13, crying after the bout and letting out screams of joy.


Round of 16


Errigo was pitted against Eleanor Harvey of Canada. Harvey kept pace with Errigo, fencing to a draw and then taking an 11-10 lead at the end of the first period that she never relinquished. Harvey only allowed Errigo to score once more as she beat the gold medal favorite 15-11.


Kiefer struggled in her second match against China's Yongshi Liu. She trailed 7-12 midway through the second. Liu reached match point with 37 seconds left in the second and went on to defeat the American 15-9.



Prescod returned to the piste to take on Astrid Guyart of France. They were knotted at 8 at the end of the second period. Guyart broke the tie 20 seconds into the third but Prescod responded with another tying point. Prescod went ahead 10-9 but Guyart scored five consecutive points to win 14-11 as time expired.


Di Francisca took on Lyczbinska on the red piste. Di Francisca nursed a three point lead through the midpoint of the first but soon pulled away to win 15-6.


Shanaeva defeated Hee Sook Jeon of South Korea 15-11.


Round of 32


U.S. fencer Lee Kiefer had a promising future when as an 18-year-old she placed fifth at her first Olympics in London. Four years later, refined, poised and confident, the future had arrived. Kiefer faced Mona Shaito of Lebanon.


It was a carefully crafted and technical display by the American. She led 14-1 midway through the second period and only allowed Shaito to score twice more en route to a 15-3 victory.


Arianna Errigo of Italy, a favorite to win gold, faced Thi Anh Do of Vietnam. Do, the 144th ranked fencer, upset Maria Kontochristopoulou, who is ranked 44th, in the Round of 64. Errigo took the match 15-9.


Defending gold medalist and Italian Elisa Di Francisca began her title defense against Po Heung Lin of Hong Kong. Points were at a premium in the early going but the Italian quickly pulled away as she built a 13-6 lead. She ultimately advanced, defeating Do 15-8.


Team USA's Nzingha Prescod took on Nataly Michel of Mexico. Prescod jumped out to an early 7-4 lead at the end of the first that she never gave up as she took the 15-9 victory.



Rochel took on Russia's Aida Shanaeva, another favorite to win after winning gold and silver medals in the team competition in Beijing and London respectively.


Rochel proved she could fence with the best of them, tying the bout at 9 midway through the second period. Her well timed counterattacks seemingly stunned the veteran Shanaeva.


Rochel went down two points with Shanaeva ahead 14-12. The Brazilian scored a quick point to put herself in a position to force overtime. On the final attack, both fencer's lights went off at the same time leading to a referee review. The review awarded Shanaeva the point and victory.


Germany's Carolin Golubytski's left knee bothered her early against Poland's Hanna Lyczbinska and would merit her taking a ten minute medical timeout as trainers taped her knee in the third period. She trailed Lyczbinska 9-5 when the bout resumed. Lyczbinska went on to win 14-9.


Japan's Shiho Nishioka took on Hyunhee Nam of South Korea. Nam, the 13th ranked fencer, found herself trailing 9-14 but scored three consecutive points as only seconds remained in regulation. Nishioka secured her place in the Round of 16 as she scored her 15th point with six seconds left in regulation.


Bulcao lost her bout against Inna Deriglazova of Russia 15-6.


Round of 64


Tais Rochel and Ana Beatriz Bulcao of Brazil took to the piste for the home country. Rochel faced 17-year-old Lubna Alomair of Saudi Arabia. She made quick work of the rookie and swept the bout 15-0.


Bulcao trailed early, going down 4-8, but rallied to get within a point of Romania's Malina Calugareanu. She tied the bout at 8 to begin the third but Calugareanu gained a three point advantage.


Bulcao quickly closed the gap to knot it at 12 and then took the lead with under 20 seconds remaining in regulation. She scored twice more to win 15-12.



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