National tournament brings 4,000 fencers to Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio - There's going to be some fancy swordplay in central Ohio this week.

Around 4,000 athletes are expected to participate in the Fencing National Championships in Columbus through next Monday.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the sport has grown here thanks to Ohio State University winning three NCAA fencing championships since 2004. That's led to local clubs popping up to meet increasing demand from people who want to get into the hobby.

Modern fencing dates back to 15th-century Europe, when noblemen engaged in duels to the death. Nowadays, it's done for sport and has been an Olympic mainstay since the first games in 1896.

Val Belmonte, head of USA Fencing, says he hopes the championships bring even more visibility to the sport.

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