Olympic fencing champion Mikhail Burtsev dies at 59

MOSCOW (AP) Mikhail Burtsev, an Olympic fencer who won gold medals for the Soviet Union in 1976 and 1980, died Friday, the Russian Fencing Federation said. He was 59.

Burtsev was a member of the Soviet saber team which won gold at the 1976 Montreal Games when he was only 20 years old. He repeated in Moscow four years later, when he also won an individual silver in saber.

Burtsev was unable to compete at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics because of the Soviet boycott, but he returned in Seoul to win another silver in team saber.

At the 1992 Olympics, Burtsev coached the fencers for post-Soviet Unified Team. He later spent years coaching in his home city of Moscow.

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