Olympics fencing: Italy beat Japan to win men's team foil

Italy claimed gold in the men's team foil fencing at London 2012 despite being fought all the way in the final by Japan.

Andrea Baldini, Andrea Cassara and Giorgio Avola triumphed 45-39 despite being pegged back to 35-35 in the penultimate bout.

Germany claimed the bronze after beating USA in a play-off match.

Great Britain finished a creditable sixth after coming close to shocking Italy in the quarter-finals.

Japan took an early lead in the final after two bouts but Cassara stunned Chida Kenta 8-4 in the third.

But Japan, seventh best in the world, were always in touch until the final bout which Baldini took 5-2 against Yuki Ota.

Britain remain without an Olympic fencing medal since 1964 but Richard Kruse and James Davis gave them a chance against the world number one Italians.

Italy maintained a narrow lead for the vast majority of the match, then rallied late on to triumph 45-40.

Britain went on to beat France before losing to Russia as places fifth to eighth were decided.

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