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Utah will play host to over 4,000 fencers from 48 different states when the USA Fencing National Championships and July Challenge comes to Salt Lake City beginning Saturday.

The competition, which will be held at the Salt Palace Convention Center through July 10, has a chance to be the largest fencing tournament in history, organizers say.

All events are fee and open to the public.

"Salt Lake City has been a great host to USA Fencing athletes and families at Championships and North American Cups over the last two Olympic cycles and we are please to have this opportunity to bring the world's largest fencing tournament to Utah," USA Fencing Senior Director of Operations Christine Strong-Simmons said in a statement. "We are so excited to partner with Visit Salt Lake and the Utah Sports Commission to make the Summer Nationals an outstanding experience in the host city for the 2002 Olympics."

The USA Fencing National Championships will feature competitors ranging from age 8 to 94. The July Challenge includes Division I, Junior and Cadet individual events in addition to a senior team competition.

Eight of the 84 events will feature more than 200 competitors each, with the Y14 men's foil and Junior men's epee scheduled to be that largest with 284 and 281 competitors, respectively.

These competitions won't only award athletes with national titles, but it will serve as the last selection tournament for the 2017 Veteran World Championship Team with the top four athletes on the National Team Point Standings getting the chance to represent Team USA.

In addition to the thousands of athletes coming to Salt Lake City to compete, members of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team will be in town to train for the 2017 Senior World Championships, taking place in Leipzig, Germany next month.

Both the Men's and Women's Foil Nation Teams will host a clinic for young fencers on July 7. Two-time Olympic Champion Mariel Zagunis will also his a series of clinics between July 7-9 from up and coming saber fencers.

"It is great having USA Fencing host its national tournament here in Utah," President and CCEO of the Utah Sports Commission Jeff Robbins said in a statement. "This event continues to build our brand as 'The State of Sports' and we know it will have significant economic impact on our state."

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