Eli Dershwitz took men's sabre gold on day four of the Fencing World Championships in Milan ©Getty Images

France’s Marie-Florence Candassamy and Eli Dershwitz of the United States won the first gold medals of the International Fencing Federation Fencing World Championships in Milan, taking the women’s épée and men’s sabre titles respectively.

On the fourth day of action at the Milan Convention Centre in Italy, Candassamy, who competed at the Rio 2016 Olympics, defeated Italian Alberta Santuccio 15-12 in the gold-medal match for a first world title.

Earlier in the semi-finals she beat reigning Olympic champion China’s Sun Yiwen 14-10, while at the quarter-final phase she edged past Anna Kun of Hungary 14-13.

Santuccio’s run to the final included a 15-14 win over compatriot Mara Navarria in the semi-finals, and a 15-5 win over Alexandra Louis Marie of France.

In the men’s sabre, Dershwitz, who has competed at the previous two Olympics and won World Championship individual silver in the discipline in Wuxi in 2018, went one better taking gold in Milan.

The American overcame Georgia’s Sandro Bazadze 15-6 in the final to take the title.

Earlier in the semi-final stage he knocked out reigning Olympic champion Áron Szilágyi 15-13, while in the quarter-finals he defeated Ha Hansol of South Korea 15-10.

Bazadze’s run to the final included a narrow 15-14 win over Egyptian Ziad Elsissy in the semi-finals, and a 15-9 triumph over Kento Yoshida in the quarter-finals.

The fourth day in Milan also featured the Opening Ceremony of the Championships, which included music and dance performances.

Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella was a special guest at the ceremony and made a speech.

Competition is scheduled to continue tomorrow with the women’s foil and men’s épée competitions.