Fencing at the 1904 Summer Olympics – Men's foil

The men's foil was a fencing event held as part of the fencing at the 1904 Summer Olympics programme. It was the third time the event was held at the Olympics. The competition was held on September 7, 1904. Nine fencers from three nations competed. The medals were swept by "Cuban" fencers; only Fonst was actually Cuban, but the other two men (Albertson Van Zo Post and Charles Tatham) are marked as Cuban by the IOC despite being American.

Men's foil
at the Games of the III Olympiad
Ramon Fonst, champion olympique à l'épée aux JO de Paris 1900.jpg
Ramón Fonst
VenueFrancis Gymnasium, Washington University in St. Louis
DateSeptember 7
Competitors9 from 3 nations
1st place, gold medalist(s) Ramón Fonst
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Albertson Van Zo Post
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Charles Tatham
← 1900
1912 →


This was the third appearance of the event, which has been held at every Summer Olympics except 1908 (when there was a foil display only rather than a medal event). None of the fencers from 1900 returned.[1]

Two of the three competing nations were making their debut in the men's foil: Cuba and Germany. Only the United States had previously competed, in 1900; the United States' two appearances matched France (1896 and 1900).

Competition formatEdit

The event used a two-round format (semifinals and a final). The semifinal consisted of two pools, one of five fencers and one of four fencers, with each pool playing a round-robin. The top two in each semifinal advanced to the final; these four played another round-robin. Standard foil rules were used, including that touches had to be made with the tip of the foil, the target area was limited to the torso, and priority determined the winner of double touches.

However, the number of touches made was not determinative of the winner of a bout. Instead, each bout was evaluated by judges. Each judge assigned up to 100 points to each fencer, with the fencer having the higher average score winning the bout.[1]


Date Time Round
Wednesday, 7 September 1904 Semifinals



Each fencer in a group faced each other fencer in that group once. The top two fencers in each semifinal group moved on to the final.

Semifinal AEdit

Rank Fencer Nation Wins Losses Notes
1 Ramón Fonst   Cuba 4 0 Q
2 Albertson Van Zo Post   Cuba[2] 3 1 Q
3 Fitzhugh Townsend   United States 2 2
4 Theodore Carstens   United States 1 3
5 William Grebe   United States 0 4

Semifinal BEdit

Rank Fencer Nation Wins Losses Notes
1 Gustav Casmir   Germany 3 0 Q
2 Charles Tatham   Cuba[3] 2 1 Q
3 Wilfred Holroyd   United States[4] 1 2
4 Arthur Fox   United States 0 3


Fonst continued to defeat all comers, including Post a second time, to win the gold. Post's only two losses in the event came against Fonst, as he took silver. Tatham, who had lost to Casmir in the semifinal pool, defeated him the second time around to take third place.

Rank Fencer Nation Wins Losses
  Ramón Fonst   Cuba 3 0
  Albertson Van Zo Post   Cuba[2] 2 1
  Charles Tatham   Cuba[3] 1 2
4 Gustav Casmir   Germany 0 3

Final classificationEdit

Rank Fencer Nation Notes
  Ramón Fonst   Cuba Final
  Albertson Van Zo Post   Cuba[2] Final
  Charles Tatham   Cuba[3] Final
4 Gustav Casmir   Germany Final
5 Fitzhugh Townsend   United States 3rd in semifinal pool
Wilfred Holroyd   United States[4] 3rd in semifinal pool
7 Theodore Carstens   United States 4th in semifinal pool
Arthur Fox   United States 4th in semifinal pool
9 William Grebe   United States 5th in semifinal pool


  1. ^ a b "Foil, Individual, Men". Olympedia. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  2. ^ a b c The IOC results database shows Albertson Van Zo Post as Cuban despite the fact that he was an American.
  3. ^ a b c The IOC results database shows Charles Tatham as Cuban for individual events and American for the team event; he was an American.
  4. ^ a b The IOC results database shows Wilfred Holroyd as American; he was British.