Venezuelan Fencer Ruben Limardo Gascon Wins His Country's First Gold Medal Since 1968 At London 2012 Olympics

  @ericbrownzzz on August 01 2012 10:40 PM
Ruben Limardo Gascon
Venezuela's Ruben Limardo Gascon reacts as he beats Seth Kelsey of the U.S. at the end of their men's epee individual semifinals during the London 2012 Olympic Games. Reuters

Despite competing in the Olympics since 1948, until the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Venezuela had won only a single gold medal, courtesy of men's light flyweight boxer Francisco Rodriguez in 1968. Now, however, the South American nation has taken home another gold medal, thanks to epee fencer Ruben Limardo Gascon.

Limardo, previously ranked at number 13 in the world, defeated Norwegian Bartosz Piasecki in the men's individual epee fencing competition on Wednesday. The Venezuelan fencer started off with a strong lead of 14-6. While Piasecki gained several points near the end of the match, Limardo had established enough of a lead to take the gold.

The Venezuelan section of the crowd exploded in celebration after the 25-year-old Limardo became their nation's second gold medal winner ever.

Before Wednesday's match, Limardo managed to beat U.S. fencer Seth Kelsey in the semi-finals. Kelsey previously dethroned number one-ranked fencer Nikolai Novosjolov of Estonia earlier in the competitions. He ultimately lost the third place title in a sudden death match with South Korea's Jung Jinsun.

"I've demonstrated that Venezuelans have got talent. I don't know what to say, I'm just speechless," Limardo said to RTE. "My goal is to reach my dream, to be an Olympic champion, and that's what I set for myself when I was a child. I came here to get a gold medal and I dedicate it to my country."

To make things all the more exciting for Limardo, Friday is his 27th birthday. It's safe to say that he'll have an extremely memorable party after bringing the gold medal home.

As of Wednesday night, Venezuela's total medal count since 1948 now stands at 12 - two gold, two silver and eight bronze.

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