Introduced: Fencing was one of nine sports on the programme at the 1896 Games, the first modern Olympics. The women's fencing competition was added in 1924.
Events: Men and women each compete in six events, broken down by team and individual competition as well as the three weapons used: epee, sabre and foil.
Rules and scoring: The competitor who scores the most points during the three, three-minute rounds, or reaches 15 points first, wins. Competition is arranged in a single-elimination tournament format.
Technique: Fencers thrust towards their opponents, trying to make contact. With the sabre weapon, they also have the option of swiping or 'cutting' across their opponent with the blade. Each of the disciplines also has a unique target area, with any part of the body being fair game for a strike with the epee.
Top performers: Italy has the largest overall medal haul, but Russia won four gold, a silver and two bronze medals at Rio 2016 -- their best Olympic fencing performance in two decades.
Sources: International Olympic Committee, Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, FIE