Italian Olympic star takes stand against terrorism

Elisa Di Francisca is comforted by her coach Valentina Vezali after losing the women's individual foil final. (Andrew Medichini, AP)
Elisa Di Francisca is comforted by her coach Valentina Vezali after losing the women's individual foil final. (Andrew Medichini, AP)

Rio de Janeiro - Italian star fencer medal winner Elisa de Francisca made an emotional call for a stand against terrorism and wore the European flag in tribute to the victims of the Paris and Brussels attacks as she collected her silver.

"Europe exists and is united against terrorism. I took the European flag onto the podium for the victims of Paris and Brussels. We cannot let terrorism win," said the 33-year-old after the medal ceremony on Wednesday.

More than 165 people were killed in attacks in Paris in November and Brussels in March which were claimed by Islamic militants.

"We should try to stay united and to love each other," Francisca added.

"I'm saying this because every time that I travel I often see people looking around at other people as if they were strangers.

"We are not different, we should love each other and we should not be afraid of one another."

Francisca, who won the 2012 gold in London, was beaten by Russia's Inna Derglazova in the final.

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