Rio 2016 Olympic Fencing, a Calendar of the Lead Up EventsHere we are already in 2016 and the Olympics in Rio are almost here! Rio will bring together 212 of the world’s best fencers from around the world in 10 events.

There are SO many events leading up to the games, with tons of meaningful dates. We’ve pulled together the schedule of major events leading up to Rio from across the web and put them all in one place, right here, so that you don’t have to search for them!

The Basics

You’ll find an in depth discussion of qualification over at our piece on the qualification for the Olympics, but here’s a quick refresher.

There are two ways to qualify for both teams and individuals
○ Points. World Cups are the big players here, with each World Cup carrying enough points to basically amount to a qualifying event.
○ Zonal qualifiers in which countries within each zone compete against each other.

The Olympic fencing world is broken into 4 zones: Asia & Oceania, Africa, Americas and Europe.

There are 10 events, team and individual for each weapon. Two team events are dropped on rotation at the Olympic Games, and Women’s Team Foil and Men’s Team Sabre are the two team events dropped in 2016.

Important Dates


It’s difficult to underestimate the importance of these qualification competitions, and following them is equally as fun as the events in Rio will be. Watching fencing during these tournaments shows fencers giving 100% of their effort and intensity, and it’s wonderful to see our favorites giving their best. There’s no time for a break, no chance to weaken right now in this final chase for a spot in the Olympic Games!

The remaining World Cups are each marvelously important. Every point counts at this stage of the game, and the field still offers some space for individuals to qualify even as team slots are taken.

These events are some of the highest profile fencing competitions that you’ll find anywhere or anytime. For example, the Challenge International de Paris on January 15th-17th is one of the highest profile events in fencing. The arena will be filled with thousands of people coming out to watch it live, and it’s a major sporting event in France. It’s a totally unique event in fencing given the scale of the crowds, and it’s a fantastic spectacle to witness.


15 – Men’s Foil WORLD CUP Challenge International de Paris: Paris, France
15 – Women’s Foil WORLD CUP Artus Court PKP BP: Gdansk, Poland
21 – Men’s Epee WORLD CUP Heidenheimer Pokal : Heidenheim, Germany
22 – Women’ Epee WORLD CUP Ciutat de Barcelona: Barcelona, Spain
29 – Men’s Sabre WORLD CUP Luxardo Trophy : Padova, Italy
29 – Women’s Sabre WORLD CUP: Athens, Greece


5 – Men’s Foil WORLD CUP Lowe von Bonn: Bonn, Germany
5 – Women’s Foil WORLD CUP: Algiers, Algeria
12 – Men’s Epee WORLD CUP Coupe du Monde: Vancouver, Canada
12 – Women’s Epee WORLD CUP Coupe du Monde: Buenos Aires, Brazil
19 – Men’s Sabre WORLD CUP Sabre de Wolodyjowski: Warsaw, Poland
19 – Women’s Sabre WORLD CUP Challenge Yves Brasseur: Ghent, Belgium


4 – FIE Point Ranking Qualification Cutoff: Based on teams standing

10 thru 12 – Asia & Oceania Zonal Qualifier:
10 thru 15 -Africa Zonal Qualifier
15 thru 17 – Americas Zonal Qualifier
15 thru 17 – Europe Zonal Qualifier

The Games Begin!

What makes this point of the competition so exciting isn’t just the majesty of the games or the thrill of the international audience; it’s also that you’re watching these amazing athletes that you’ve been following for months now!

Each day offers a new event, with 32-38 fencers (depending on whether this category has team event as well) challenging each other in direct elimination all the way down to the gold medal bout in just one day.


5 – Olympic Opening Ceremonies

Each day is one event, and each day is a medal day!

6 – Women’s Individual Epee
7 – Men’s Individual Foil
8 – Women’s Individual Sabre
9 – Men’s Individual Epee
10 – Women’s Individual Foil & Men’s Individual Sabre
11 – Women’s Team Epee
12 – Men’s Team Foil
13 – Women’s Team Sabre
14 – Men’s Team Epee

21 – Closing Ceremonies


Rio 2016 Fencing Qualification

David Baker, a British fencing referee, created a great social media resource that tracks the team and individual performance of every fencer in every weapon towards qualification for Rio. It’s a great idea to like that page, then share it among your friends so that you can all read Baker’s very good analysis of where things stand.
There are so many amazing events going on in Rio – what are you most excited about in Olympic fencing in Rio? Let us know in the comments!