Greek fencer Theodora Gkountoura, also known as Dora Goudoura, won the gold medal at the Women’s Sabre Grand Prix on Sunday in Seoul, South Korea.
The Greek athlete, who reached a career highest ranking of 3rd place in the 2021-2022 season, defeated Sara Balzer from France 15-11 in the final.
“With the gold medal, Theodora Gountoura scored precious points for her Olympic ranking, as this was the first sabre tournament within the Olympic qualification period,” the Hellenic Olympic Committee posted on Facebook, congratulating Gountoura on her win.
Five years of achievement for Greek fencer Gkountoura
The winner of this year’s Women’s Sabre Grand Prix of Seoul has an impressive line-up of achievements in fencing over the past five years.
Theodora Gkountoura participated at the 2019 World Fencing Championships, where she won a bronze medal.
She then progressed to winning the silver medal in the Orléans Grand Prix in 2021, before taking home the gold medal in the 2023 Grand Prix of Seoul.
As for the World Cup, the Greek champion has won the bronze medal in Athens in 2020, the silver medal in Tbilisi in 2022, the bronze medal in Algiers in 2022, the silver medal in Tashkent in 2023, the bronze medal in Athens in 2023 and the bronze medal in Sint-Niklaas in 2023.
Catching the “fencing bug”
According to the International Fencing Federation (FIE), Theodora Gkountoura took up fencing at the age of twelve in Athens, Greece, where she joined the AEK club. She had previously tried tennis and gymnastics at school.
She was persuaded to try fencing by Thanasis Delenikas, her future AEK and national team coach, who saw her potential when he gave a presentation on fencing to her school.
“I can’t say that I caught the fencing bug at a really young age, as fencing is a sport rooted in strategy and tactics, and that can be difficult for a child to grasp. What kept me going was the atmosphere and my coach, Thanasis, who always found ways for us to have a good time at training. Later on as I got to know the sport I became more and more intrigued, and then I really caught the fencing bug,” the promising Greek fencer states on her FIE profile page.
Now an athlete of AO Ariston Paianias, Gkountoura trains from five to eight hours per day at the Olympic Stadium in Athens with the national team – but has a fridge full of sweets, as she confided in a video interview with the FIE in 2021.
— FIE (@FIE_fencing) June 4, 2021