16th November 2011
Gareth Thomas, who is coached by his father Neale, dropped just two fights in the two rounds of poules and was ranked 9th for the direct elimination stages.
He breezed through to the semi-finals comfortably beating three Danish fencers along the way, most notably Jorgensen who is the topped ranked Dane. He faced another Scandinavian next in the form of Finish fencer, Vuorinen; someone he has lost to twice before. The fight was close going into the third period (10-9) but Thomas switched tactics and moved to striking into the low line. It worked and he won 15-10. The final was a step too far against the defensive German, Kirschen, who took and early lead. Thomas was never more than two hits behind and managed to level the score 20 seconds before time. Priority went to the German and a flawed attack from Thomas gave Kirschen the chance to win on the counter.
Satisfied with his performance, Thomas said: “It was a useful weekend fencing unfamiliar opponents which is a good experience. It’s helpful to get away from the regular opponents on the GB circuit and get used to the different tempo seen abroad.”
His coach, Neale Thomas, added: “This event forms part of the learning curve that fencers emerging from the Junior rankings need to go through.”