World Fencing Championships
The World Championships in Fencing is an annual competition organized by the Fédération Internationale d'Escrime or FIE, (International Fencing Federation in English). The world championships are, after the Olympic Games, the most prominent international competition in the sport of fencing. Contestants may participate in foil, épée, and sabre events.
The FIE first organized an international fencing championship in Paris in 1921. The competition in its early years was billed as a European fencing tournament, and the initial participants were members of the fencing federations of the various European nations. In 1937, the FIE, at the request of an Italian contingent of fencers, granted world title status to the annual tournament, with retrospective recognition to the Championships held since 1926. (The government of Benito Mussolini in Italy was, at this time, offering national recognition and privileges to winners of Olympic or world titles.)
Since 1921, the FIE championships have occurred annually, with the exception of all events held during the Summer Olympics, and an interruption forced by World War II between 1938 and 1947. The fencing competitions at the Summer Olympics have served as the World Championships of the year for the relevant events. Events not held during the Summer Olympics have the FIE championship at a designated World Cup in the same year since 2000.
The three types of events were introduced successively. Men's épée competition began in 1921, sabre in 1922, and foil in 1926. Since 1929, women's competitions in foil have taken place. A women's épée event was added in 1989, and women's sabre in 1999.
The year 1929 also saw the first team competition, in the foil event. Team events for sabre and épée were initiated in 1930. The women's team foil event began in 1932. Team competition for women in épée and sabre began the same year as the individual women's events (1989 for épée and 1999 for sabre).