Norway claims first ever Olympic fencing medal

Norwegian Bartosz Piasecki claimed the country's first silver medal of the London 2012 games after he lost his fencing final to Ruben Limardo from Venezuela on Wednesday.

Norway claims first ever Olympic fencing medal
Photo: Heiko Junge/NTB Scanpix

The 25-year-old defied the odds by beating four higher ranked players to get to the final and claim Norway's first ever Olympic fencing medal.

But the final proved a bridge too far for the young Norwegian, with the contest decided in a rewarding second period for the South American when he claimed 8 points to Piasecki's three, thereby extending his lead to 12-6.

Limardo came within a whisker of winning the contest early in the final period, claiming two points to take him within one of victory only for the Norwegian to strike back. Piasecki battled his way back into the contest by winning four straight points but the Venezuelan managed to land the decisive blow.

Piasecki was however more than happy with his unexpected silver medal, defying his ranking of 23 out of the 25 fencers taking part.

"I am incredibly proud. This shouldn't have been possible. Silver is like gold," Bartosz Piasecki said after the final.

The 25-year-old beat Gauthier Grumier (France), Geza Imre (Hungary), Yannick Borel (France) and Jung Jin-sun (South Korea) on his way to the final,

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Norway wants to host 2026 Winter Olympics

Norway’s Telemark County wants to host the Winter Olympics in 2026.

Norway wants to host 2026 Winter Olympics
The opening ceremony at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer. File photo: Bjørn Sigurdsøn / NTB scanpix

The county is preparing to bid for the event, leader of Telemark’s municipal sporting committee Geir Berge Nordtveit confirmed to NRK on Monday.

“I can confirm that we want to bring the Winter Olympics to Telemark,” Nordtveit said.

Preparations for the bid launch had been kept secret by the county municipality prior to Monday’s confirmation.

An official launch event is scheduled for Tuesday.

Telemark decided to throw its hat into the ring for the event after Austrian city Innsbruck decided not to bid, according to NRK.

Next year’s Winter Olympics will be held in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang, with the 2022 games to be hosted in Beijing.

Telemark will also ask neighbouring counties Buskerud and Vestfold to contribute to the bid, reports NRK.

As such, the bid will include events in different locations across Telemark, and perhaps beyond, rather than hosting all events in the same city wherever possible – the model currently used.

Norway previously hosted the Winter Olympics in 1994, when Lillehammer in Oppland county was the host city.

READ ALSO: Norway sceptical about new Olympic bid