CHIBA: Barely able to walk, Russian fencer Marta Martyanova showed she could still fight.
Martyanova rolled her ankle early in the team foil final at the Olympics on Thursday, but stayed in the contest and contributed 14 points to win gold alongside Inna Deriglazova and Larisa Korobeynikova. The Russians beat France 45-34.
Martyanova, who had her ankle bandaged and treated with an ice pack, needed her team-mates help to walk to the podium and back again.
“Emotionally it was very hard. I didn't know what to do,” Martyanova said, adding that she worried about letting the team down if she didn’t continue. “I had to just stand up and do everything,” She left the arena in a wheelchair.
The final bout came between top-ranked Inna Deriglazova of the Russian Olympic Committee and France’s Ysaora Thibus, who had come fresh off a breathtaking upset victory in the semi-finals after being tied 42-42 with Italy.
Deriglazova and Thibus warily eyed each other across the piste and lunged repeatedly throughout, with Thibus landing some successful swipes at her opponent’s torso. But it was Deriglazova who eventually took the winning 45th point.
Deriglazova won her second medal of the Tokyo Games after finishing runner-up to Lee Kiefer of the United States in the individual foil competition. It’s her fourth career Olympic medal.
Published in Dawn, July 30th, 2021