By David Owen

London 2012 fencing 5May 26 - Fencing is considering introducing shorter bouts as part of a modernisation drive.

Frédéric Pietruszka, secretary general of the International Fencing Federation (FIE), told Insidethegames in an exclusive interview that the sport was thinking about cutting the length of each of the three legs, or periods, that make up an individual match from three minutes to two.

He indicated that the switch could conceivably be made, if the relevant FIE bodies came out in favour, in time for the next Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

"We have noticed that the third and final leg of a match is often the most active," Pietruszka said.

The move is one of a series of changes, some quite radical, that might be adopted over time in an effort to make people think of fencing, in Pietruszka's phrase, as "a sport of the future".

These could include more colourful clothing for athletes, innovative methods of making it clear to spectators when a point has been scored and by whom, and even the introduction of laser weapons.

"At the moment the notion of using lasers is no more than a distant dream," Pietruszka cautioned.

"But we do need to think about what our sport ought to look like in 20 years' time."

Frederic Pietruszka head and shouldersFrédéric Pietruszka, secretary general of the International Fencing Federation, sees an exciting future for his sport

Pietruszka, 59, an Olympic gold medallist in fencing, was designated as FIE secretary general in December by Alisher Usmanov, the body's President, who is also a major shareholder in Premier League Arsenal.

The FIE is celebrating its centenary year, but Pietruszka argues that while fencing "must not forget the 100 years that have passed, we must concern ourselves more with the next 100".

To read the full interview click here.