CHIBA, July 27 (Reuters) - China stayed on track to claim a third consecutive Olympic medal in the women's team epee fencing event on Tuesday after they beat Hong Kong in the quarterfinal stage.
The Chinese team won gold in the 2012 London Olympics and silver in the 2016 Rio Games, and is ranked world number one.
With strong individual fencers including Sun Yiwen, who won gold for the individual epee event https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/olympics-fencing-chinas-sun-wins-womens-epee-individual-gold-2021-07-24 just three days ago, the team was up against Hong Kong, ranked 15th in the world.
China kept a comfortable lead throughout the hour and ended the game with a 44-32 win.
After the game ended, the four members of the Chinese team were focused and subdued in their celebration as they exchanged high-fives.
In the semifinals, China will clash with South Korea, who overcame the United States in the quarterfinals.
Poland, which is ranked second and was eyeing its first Olympic gold medal in women's fencing, lost to Estonia in a quarterfinal upset.
Although ranked seventh in the world, Estonia has a strong selection of fencers including Katrina Lehis, who already has a bronze medal under her belt at the Games.
Trailing Estonia by only a few points, Poland's Ewa Trzebinska tried and failed to capture Estonia's Julia Beljajeva in the final bout of the match. Beljajeva took the last point to finish the match at 29-26.
Beljajeva let out a scream and jumped up and down after the match was called, but team mates were shooed away and told to hold off when they crowded around for a hug.
In the next round Estonia will face Italy, which defeated the Russian Olympic Committee team to advance to the semis. (Reporting by Sakura Murakami; Editing by Karishma Singh)