Abajo makes Spanish history with first fencing medal

11th August 2008, Comments 0 comments

Jose Luis Abajo is the first Spaniard to win a fencing medal and the 100th medal in Olympic competition.

11 August 2008

MADRID - Jose Luis Abajo Sunday inked his name in the history books by winning Spain's first ever fencing medal - and the country's 100th in Olympic competition.

The 30-year-old swordsman from Madrid overcame a strong challenge from Hungary's Gabor Boczco to claim the bronze in the épée category, defeating the Olympic number one, France's Jerome Jeannet en route.

"Everybody has been blown away today, it's a very exciting sport, very unpredictable. The spectators have been able to see how I won the bronze medal by just one strike," Abajo said.

Spain's male waterpolo team crushed Canada 16-6 in the first game of its campaign, and it faces Australia Monday.

In swimming, Auschwin Wildeboer smashed the Spanish record in the 100 meters backstroke, ensuring his place in the semi-finals with the fourth-best time of the day. Wildeboer finished his heat second behind American Aaron Peirsol. Nina Zhivanevskaya also qualified for the semi-finals of the same event.

Ana Carrascosa came close to a medal in the 52kg judo competition, her run finally ended by the South Korean Kyungok Kim.

The first Spaniard to win a match in Olympic badminton history, Yoana Martínez, lost her second round encounter against Maria Yulianti of Indonesia 21-9, 21-9, but her first-round victory ensures her place in the record books.

Pablo Herrera and Raúl Mesa completed a 2-0 victory over Estonian pair Kais-Vesik in the men's beach volleyball competition.

Swimming blow
There was bad news in the swimming pool for medal hope Erika Villaécija, who finished last in her 4x100 meters freestyle heat. Suffering from a fever, she will hope to recover in time to concentrate on the 800m event on 14 August.

Lenika de Simone and Laura Campos got off to a disappointing start in the artistic gymnastics event, being eliminated from the dual discipline and leaving their qualification chances for the individual event in the balance.

The female hockey team lost 3-0 to China in its opening game, and will hope to improve Monday against Belgium.

Elsewhere Sunday, Brazil and Argentina, the pre-tournament favourites, booked quarterfinal places, with Ronaldinho rediscovering his scoring touch in a 5-0 thrashing of New Zealand.

Michael Phelps won gold and pulverized his own world record in the 400m swimming freestyle, winning in 4:03.84.

[El Pais / Expatica]

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