Fencing at the 2020 Summer Olympics – Men's sabre

The men's sabre event at the 2020 Summer Olympics is scheduled to take place on 24 July 2021 at the Makuhari Messe.[1] 34 fencers from 18 nations are expected to compete, with possible additional fencers added through host/invitational places.[2]

Men's sabre
at the Games of the XXXII Olympiad
Fencing pictogram.svg
Olympic fencing
VenueMakuhari Messe
Date24 July 2021
Competitors~34 from ~18 nations
← 2016
2024 →


This will be the 29th appearance of the event, which is the only fencing event to have been held at every Summer Olympics.


A National Olympic Committee (NOC) could enter up to 3 qualified fencers in the men's sabre . Nations were limited to three fencers each from 1928 to 2004. However, the 2008 Games introduced a rotation of men's team fencing events with one weapon left off each Games; the individual event without a corresponding team event had the number of fencers per nation reduced to two. Men's sabre was the first event this applied to, so each nation could enter a maximum of two fencers in the event in 2016. The 2020 Games eliminated this rotation and all weapons had team events.[2]

There are 34 dedicated quota spots for men's sabre. The first 24 spots go to the 3 members of each of the 8 qualified teams in the team foil event. Next, 6 more men are selected from the world rankings based on continents: 2 from Europe, 1 from the Americas, 2 from Asia/Oceania, and 1 from Africa. Finally, 4 spots are allocated by continental qualifying events: 1 from Europe, 1 from the Americas, 1 from Asia/Oceania, and 1 from Africa. Each nation can earn only one spot through rankings or events.[2]

Additionally, there are 8 host/invitational spots that can be spread throughout the various fencing events.[2]

The COVID-19 pandemic delayed many of the events for qualifying for fencing, moving the close of the rankings period back to April 5, 2021 rather than the original April 4, 2020.[2][3]

Competition formatEdit

The 1996 tournament had vastly simplified the competition format into a single-elimination bracket, with a bronze medal match. The 2020 tournament will continue to use that format. Fencing is done to 15 touches or to the completion of three three-minute rounds if neither fencer reaches 15 touches by then. At the end of time, the higher-scoring fencer is the winner; a tie results in an additional one-minute sudden-death time period. This sudden-death period is further modified by the selection of a draw-winner beforehand; if neither fencer scores a touch during the minute, the predetermined draw-winner wins the bout. Standard sabre rules regarding target area, striking, and priority are used.[4]


The competition is held over a single day, Saturday, 24 July. The first session runs from 9 a.m. to approximately 4:20 p.m. (when the quarterfinals are expected to conclude), after which there is a break until 6 p.m. before the semifinals and medal bouts are held. Men's sabre bouts alternate with the women's épée event bouts.[1]

All times are Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)

Date Time Round
Saturday, 24 July 2021 9:00
Round of 64
Round of 32
Round of 16


  1. ^ a b "Fencing Competition Schedule". Tokyo 2020. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Qualification System – Games of the XXXII Olympiad – Fencing" (PDF). Fédération Internationale d'Escrime. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  3. ^ Academy of Fencing Masters
  4. ^ NBC