Larisa Korobeynikova beat 2018 World Champion Alice Volpi in a thrilling Tokyo Olympics fencing bronze medal blockbuster, while defending champion Inna Deriglazova narrowly lost in a tight final against American Lee Kiefer.
On the verge of ending her strong campaign without a podium finish, 34-year-old Korobeynikova won the final two points to secure a dramatic 15-14 victory.
Volpi – the individual world champion in 2018, a year after winning gold as part of a team – started strongly, only for spirited Korobeynikova to hit back and build a lead.
The Italian showed her class to level proceedings, narrowly missing out in a test of nerves between the two experienced stars.
Korobeynikova had produced a commendable comeback in her defeat to Kiefer in the semifinals, losing 15-6 after being 8-1 down at one stage.
That result looked all the more respectable after Kiefer became the first American to win Olympic fencing gold, beating fencing great Deriglazova in the final.
Despite Kiefer opening up a small lead on several occasions, determined Deriglazova kept in touch, bringing the score to 13-13 before her rival won two decisive points.
Korobeynikova and Deriglazova previously took silver in the women’s team foil event at the London 2012 Olympic Games, while Deriglazova is a six-time world and four-time European champion.
Also on rt.com
More medals for Russians: Top taekwondo talents Tatiana Minina and Mikhail Artamonov earn silver and bronze at Tokyo Olympics 2020