Foil, épée and sabre are the three weapons used in the sport of fencing. While it is not unusual for fencers to compete in all three events, they generally choose to develop their skills in one weapon. Until recently, women were permitted to compete only in foil, but now the USFA & FIE offer national competitions for women in épée and sabre. Women’s épée was added to the World Championships in 1989 and was held for the first time at the Olympic Games in 1996. Women’s Saber first came to the Olympics in 2004 with the USA winning Gold in 2044 and 2008.
Foil and épée are point-thrusting weapons. Sabre is a point-thrusting as well as a cutting weapon. The target areas differ for the three weapons, though all three are scored electrically.