Fencing - Tagliariol's swashbuckling dream comes true
BEIJING (Reuters) - Italian Matteo Tagliariol said his gold medal win in the Olympic men's individual fencing epee on Sunday was inspired by a life-time dream to be one of the Three Musketeers.
"Since I was a small boy I've had this wish to win the Olympics," the 25-year-old told reporters after beating Frenchman Fabrice Jeannet 15-9 in the final.
"Others dream of being footballers. I dreamed of being d'Artagnan and I kept on dreaming for 25 years," said Tagliariol, who was competing in his first Olympics.
The world number three, who fences for the Italian Air Force club, said he would spend the 140,000 euros ($210,100) in prize money the Italian Olympic Committee would award him for the gold medal to buy a house, a computer and other gadgets.
"I have no voice because I've been screaming too much (in celebration)," said Tagliario, who was the only top 10 player left after the quarter-finals in an upset-plagued tournament.
"I was obviously in top form but something like this cannot be planned," he said.
Jeannet, who had to settle for silver, said: "I could not get a grasp on the match." Spaniard Jose Luis Abajo won bronze.
Tagliariol's gold was the first in epee at the Olympics for an Italian in 48 years.
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