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| Event type

Foil, Individual, Men

Date 7 September 1904
StatusOlympic
LocationPhysical Culture Gymnasium, Washington University, St. Louis
Participants9 from 4 countries

It is believed that the fencing regulations used where those of the Amateur Fencing League of America which was established in 1891 as the national governing body for fencing in the United States. If so, the maximum length of the foil blade was 34 inches (86 cm). The target area was the body “within the limits bounded by the collar of the fencing jacket, the median line, the hip, and a line drawn from the hip to the posterior limit of the armpit, around the front of the arm and along the crest of the shoulder to the collar”. The “median line” referred to a vertical line running down the middle of the front of the torso which meant that touches were valid only to the half of the torso on the side of the fencing arm. Touches to the other side of the torso were not valid. Touches to the back were also not valid.

As was common in Europe, the winner of a foil bout was not determined by the number of touches scored but rather based on the evaluation by the judges. They would have been using a head judge and either two or four side judges for each of the bouts. The fencers bouted for four minutes of actual fencing time, switching sides after two. At the end of the bout: “Each judge without consulting his fellow judges shall award 100 points or any part thereof to each contestant at the end of the bout. The score shall be the average of the sum of the points obtained. The award of each judge shall be announced at the end of each bout.” The fencer whose average score was the highest was the winner of the bout. So, no touch counts are shown in the results because they were not used to determine the winners.

This had the largest field of any 1904 fencing event with nine competitors, which required two preliminary pools to advance four fencers to the final round. There were also fencers from four nations – Cuba, Germany, Great Britain, and the United States. Cuba’s Ramón Fonst went undefeated, winning all four of his pool matches and all three bouts in the final, to win the gold medal. Fonst also won gold in St. Louis with the épée, and had won that weapon at the 1900 Olympics in Paris, and in team foil in 1904. Albertson Van Zo Post won the silver medal, one of five fencing medals he won in St. Louis. He would also compete again at the 1912 Olympics for the United States, but won no medals in Stockholm.

PosCompetitor(s)NOC
1Ramón FonstCUBGold
2Albertson Van Zo PostUSASilver
3Charles TathamUSABronze
4Gustav CasmirGER
3 p1 r1/2Fitzhugh TownsendUSA
3 p2 r1/2Wilfred HolroydGBR
4 p1 r1/2Theodore CarstensUSA
4 p2 r1/2Arthur FoxUSA
5 p1 r1/2William GrebeUSA

Round 1 (7 September 1904)

Top two finishers in each pool advanced to final.

Pool 1

PosCompetitor(s)NOCBouts WonBouts Lost
1Ramón FonstCUB40Q
2Albertson Van Zo PostUSA31Q
3Fitzhugh TownsendUSA22
4Theodore CarstensUSA13
5William GrebeUSA04

Pool 1 Ramón FonstCUB Albertson Van Zo PostUSA
Pool 1 Ramón FonstCUB Fitzhugh TownsendUSA
Pool 1 Ramón FonstCUB Theodore CarstensUSA
Pool 1 Ramón FonstCUB William GrebeUSA
Pool 1 Albertson Van Zo PostUSA Fitzhugh TownsendUSA
Pool 1 Albertson Van Zo PostUSA Theodore CarstensUSA
Pool 1 Albertson Van Zo PostUSA William GrebeUSA
Pool 1 Fitzhugh TownsendUSA Theodore CarstensUSA
Pool 1 Fitzhugh TownsendUSA William GrebeUSA
Pool 1 Theodore CarstensUSA William GrebeUSA

Pool 2

PosCompetitor(s)NOCBouts WonBouts Lost
1Gustav CasmirGER30Q
2Charles TathamUSA21Q
3Wilfred HolroydGBR12
4Arthur FoxUSA03

Pool 2 Gustav CasmirGER Charles TathamUSA
Pool 2 Gustav CasmirGER Wilfred HolroydGBR
Pool 2 Gustav CasmirGER Arthur FoxUSA
Pool 2 Charles TathamUSA Wilfred HolroydGBR
Pool 2 Charles TathamUSA Arthur FoxUSA
Pool 2 Wilfred HolroydGBR Arthur FoxUSA

Final Pool (7 September 1904)

Round-robin pool.

PosCompetitor(s)NOCBouts WonBouts Lost
1Ramón FonstCUB30
2Albertson Van Zo PostUSA21
3Charles TathamUSA12
4Gustav CasmirGER03

Bout #1 Ramón FonstCUB Gustav CasmirGER
Bout #2 Ramón FonstCUB Charles TathamUSA
Bout #3 Ramón FonstCUB Albertson Van Zo PostUSA
Bout #4 Albertson Van Zo PostUSA Charles TathamUSA
Bout #5 Albertson Van Zo PostUSA Gustav CasmirGER
Bout #6 Charles TathamUSA Gustav CasmirGER