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BELOVA - NIVIKOVA Elena (1947) Russia / Fencing
At the age of just 21 and competing under her maiden name, this young Russian foilist won her first title in Mexico in 1968. It was to be the only Olympic individual gold, though she won a bronze medal in Montreal. In the following years she was three times Olympic team champion, in 1968, 1972 and 1976.Still in the running at the Moscow Games, the veteran she had become failed to win the team final against France, walking off with a silver medal nonetheless. But in front of the Muscovite crowd, this defeat looked very much like failure.
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