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France wins third consecutive gold medal in men's team epee

France wins third consecutive gold medal in men's team epee

France takes home the last fencing gold medal at the Rio Olympics in triumph over Italy.

France won its third consecutive men's team epee gold medal on the final day of fencing at the Rio Olympics, defeating Italy 45-31.

France never trailed in this match.

They held a 20-14 advantage after five periods but broke it open behind Yannick Borel's 10 point performance in the sixth to give France a 30-19 lead.

France never look back as Borel closed out the victory scoring the last five points.

"Just the happiest moment in my fencing life," Borel told the AP in Rio. "You want to share this with your friends. They are screaming, you are screaming, too."

What's even more impressive is the French dominated without number one ranked fencer Gauthier Grumier on the piste.

Grumier had competed in all the bouts prior to the gold medal match.

In his place was alternate Jean-Michel Lucenay who won two bouts and tied in another while Borel scored 20 points and Daniel Jerent scored 17 in a total team effort.

France has won a medal in the team epee at every Olympic Game it has been contested at since 1996.

They won bronze at the 1996 Games in Atlanta, silver in 2000 and back-to-back gold in 2004 and 2008.

In 2008, the International Olympic Committee, in an effort to restrict the number of fencing medals awarded, created a rotation of fencing events. In London, the men's team epee was removed and not contested before returning for the Rio Games.

France makes Olympic history with the victory as they break a tie with the Italians for the most gold medals in the men's team epee. France now has 9 medals to Italy's eight.

France coach Hughes Obry was proud of his team's performance.

"We came as a favorite, and they did their job with their performances here," Obry said through an interpreter. "This is such a relief for them."

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