China retain men's foil team title at Worlds

Updated:2011-10-17 11:31



CATANIA, Italy - China retained men's foil team title as they withstood a fierce fightback by France to win the nail-biting final 45-44 at the World Fencing Championships on Sunday.

France once led by 20-15, but Chinese inspiring fencer Ma Jianfei put on a dazzling performance to win back eight points for his team in the penultimate round, giving China a 41-35 advantage entering the final round.

Erwan Le Pechoux, the final fencer of France, then amazingly staved off six match points in a row to tie the score at 44-44. Lei Sheng, China's ace fencer, then pulled himself together and snatched it 45-44 at the death.

Wang Haibin, China men's foil team head coach, cut a relieved figure after the match.

"It's really a roller-coaster, too breath-taking. I almost could not breathe at the final moments," he said. "It could have been easier for us, but Lei Sheng was not that decisive when he had six match points at his disposal," he said.

China lost the women's epee team gold to Romania 45-44 after conceding a 5-point lead.