Then came Charlotte Dujardin, the woman who puts the elegance into equestrianism.
She added a world championship title to her Olympic victories in the Greenwich Arena in 2012.
Three innovations in the 17th and 18th century led to the popularity of fencing as a sport: the “foil” – a weapon with a flattened tip; a set of rules governing the target area; and the wire-mesh mask.
Together, these developments ensured the safety of fencing’s participants.
While their footballing counterparts qualified for their World Cup with a perfect campaign.