Its economy's not the greatest, but when it comes to women handling long, bendy swords, Italy has the world beat, at least in 2012. Elisa Di Francisco scored a point to the body against fellow Italian Arianna Errigo in overtime of their gold medal match, ensuring she'd be atop the podium next to her teammate. In the bronze medal faceoff, Italy's Valentina Vezzali beat South Korean Hyun Hee Nam for the bronze medal, also by scoring a point in overtime.
Because we're SB Nation, here's a .gif of Di Francisco's winning thrust, courtesy of @BuzzFeedSports:
That's terrific balance by Di Francisca to stay on her toes after parrying away silver-medalist Errigo's initial attempt, keeping fully extended and getting her foil's tip into Errigo's gut just milliseconds before Errigo was to do the same to her.
Vezzali was going for her fourth consecutive gold medal in the foil, and she would have become the first ever woman to win gold in four consecutive Olympics. Vezzali — who was Italy's flag bearer during Friday's opening ceremony, lost to Errigo in the semis, however, a defeat that shocked many in the fencing world, and was nearly bounced from the medal stand altogether.
For complete coverage of the 2012 London Olympics, visit SB Nation's Summer Olympics hub.