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Fencers conclude successful bout at mall

By Staff
AN GARDE' T. J. Hinton of Long Beach and Rod Smith of Ocean Springs pair off against each other during the finals of Sunday's Fencing competition at the 2003 State Games of Mississippi. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
June 9, 2003
The final day of the fencing competition at the State Games of Mississippi offered a glimpse of three different combat styles.
Participants competed with three different weapons, the epee, the foil and the saber, on Sunday at the Bonita Lakes Mall.
While to the naked eye each division may have appeared similar, the three weapons each had subtle differences to spice up the action.
Epee led off the final day of bouts on the mall floor between J.C. Penny, Goody's and McRae's, with eight participants.
This style of fencing was a little more unconventional, as the entire body was the target area. Fighters could score a point no matter were the tip of their sword landed on their opponent.
Epee also allows incidental body contact, without a penalty, and competitors could score what is called a "double touch," which means both fighters can score a point at the same time.
Foil followed the epee competition, and the middle event of the day drew 11 participants.
The foil style of fencing is a more conventional type of dueling, and players were a vest covering their torso to designate the scoring area.
There is no body contact allowed in the bouts, and the rule of "right of way" is in effect.
Saber concluded the day's events, with six participants.
This weapon has a guard over the hand, and participants can score points with any part of the blade, instead of just the tip as in foil and epee.
The target area of saber is the waste up, including the arms and head, and the rule of "right of way" is in effect.
Different weapons were not the only changes made on the two-day events final day.
Referees and score keepers transformed from bout officials to participants on Sunday.
Many of the first day officials exchanged their clip boards and stop watches for swords to join the fray in the 46 feet long by 6 feet wide fencing strips.
Jones found success in the switch from official to dueler.
The fencing instructor from Clinton captured the gold medal in the epee bouts.
Jones took control of his championship bout early against Daphne Cain of Gulf Coast jumping out to a 4-1 lead, in the first to 15 points or top score after nine minutes.
Jones built leads of five points throughout the course of the finals bout before winning 15-13, scoring the winning point on a double touch.
Cain earned award the silver medal, and Hinton and Lane Landry of Long Beach shared bronze medal honors.
Carr also struck gold when he picked up his foil.
The event's commissioner won the top spot in the foil bouts in a rare sight at fencing events.
Carr, who is left handed, squared off against the right-handed David Williams of Ridgeland.
The advantage didn't seem to be helping Carr at the start of the championship bout, as Williams jumped out to a 6-2 lead.
The lefty regrouped to rattle off seven straight points to take a 9-6 advantage, and he took the gold scoring a 15-9 victory.
Williams took the silver medal, and John Matthews of Oxford and Robert Spanial of Clinton took the bronze medal.
Hinton won the gold in the saber competition, and Matthews took the silver medal.
Lee Utley and Bob Zellner, both of Gulf Coast, shared the bronze medal.