In a one-sided men's sabre team final, Korea overwhelmed Romania 45-26 to win the gold medal at ExCeL on Friday to win their first ever Olympic fencing team medal.
KIM Junghwan (KOR), WON Woo Young (KOR) and GU Bongil (KOR) dominated opponents Rares DUMITRESCU (ROU), Tiberiu DOLNICEANU (ROU) and Florin ZALOMIR (ROU).
Only DOLNICEANU put up much resistance with a six-point win halfway through the match. Both teams brought on substitutes - OH Eunseok (KOR) and Alexandru SIRITEANU (ROU) - to ensure each received a medal.
Italy took the bronze medal by defeating Russia 45-40. In a shrewd substution for the final, Italy replaced the oldest man in the tournament, 39-year-old Luigi TARANTINO (ITA), with Luigi SAMELE (ITA) and he proved their star performer, winning 19 hits to give anchorman Aldo MONTANO (ITA) a cushion of nine hits for the final bout.
The delirium of the Italian team at the end earned them a red card for noisy behaviour and a penalty hit to Alexey YAKIMENKO (RUS).
Korea had earlier defeated Italy 45-37 in their semifinal, while Romania edged out Russia 45-43 in the other to set up an unexpected gold medal match between the sixth and fourth seeds respectively.
DOLNICEANU played the lead, scoring 22 points in three bouts, and despite individual sabre bronze medallist Nikolay KOVALEV (RUS) pulling back 10 hits for Russia, Romania kept their nerve to edge out the No.1 seeds.
Italy were 20-18 up against Korea after four bouts, but strong performances by GU turned the match around for the Koreans, as the mainstays of the Italian team for the past 12 years, MONTANO and TARANTINO, faded.