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The competitions relevant for the qualification are the World Cup and Grand Prix competitions counting for the official world ranking until 31 March 2012, the Zone Championships 2011 and the World Championships 2011.

There are different qualification paths for the weapons that feature both an individual and a team event and for those which have only an individual event in London 2012:
For men’s epee and women’s sabre (the weapons with only an individual event), only individual results matter and no more than 2 fencers from a country can qualify.

For the other weapons, the primary qualification is through the FIE Team rankings with some additional slots held open for individuals to qualify.


Qualifying for London 2012 in short

  • The qualification period ends 31 March 2012
  • Number of athletes: 212 athletes in total
  • 8 slots are reserved for the NOC of Great Britain, to be distributed between team and individual events as it sees fit
  • Last opportunity to qualify: the 4 zonal qualifiers
19.04.2012 Olympic qualifier Africa (Casablanca, Morocco)
20.-21.04.2012 Olympic qualifier Asia (Wakayama, Japan)
20.-22.04.2012 Qualification olympique aux Amériques (Santiago, Chili)
21.-22.04.2012 Olympic qualifier Europe (Bratislava, Slovakia)


Focus: The zone qualifiers

On 31 March 2012, the Olympic qualification period ends. After this date, we will know who has qualified through the FIE ranking. Those nations that have no fencer qualified in a certain discipline have to set their hopes on the zone qualifying competitions that will take place in April. Missing this last opportunity, there is only one chance to make it to London 2012: another fencer is injured or not nominated by his or her National Olympic Committee (NOC). It is a rare case but has happened in the past. In 2008, US top sabrist Mariel Zagunis benefited from a non-nomination of a Nigerian fencer. She took her opportunity and became Olympic Champion.

The 4 zone qualifying events

  • There is 1 zone qualifying event for each continental zone (Africa, Asia, Europe, Pan-America)
  • A zone qualifier in a specific discipline is only open to those nations that have no fencer qualified in this very discipline.
  • Each nation can enter only 1 fencer per discipline.
  • The nomination deadline for the event is 7 days before the event.
  • The general modus is a pool followed by direct elimination.
  • The qualification quota for the continental zones is as follows:


Disciplines with an individual and a team event in London 2012
(women’s epee, women’s foil, men’s foil, men’s sabre):
Disciplines with only an individual event in London 2012
(men’s epee, women’s sabre):
Africa: 1st place Africa: 1st place
Asia-Oceania: 1st place Asia-Oceania: 1st, 2nd and 3rd place
Europe: 1st and 2nd place Europe: 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place
Pan-America: 1st place Pan-America: 1st and 2nd place


Overview on the qualification system for the Olympic Games 2012 in London (pdf - 158.98 Ko)