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NEWS FROM THE OLYMPIC TEST EVENT

26th November 2011

Image provided by Serge Timacheff/FencingPhotos.com.

Olympic Test Event Report – Sunday 27th November 2011, Men’s Foil Invitational

Sunday 27th November 2011, saw the final day of action at the London Prepares Fencing Test Event at the ExCel London with men’s team foil event.

The event started with eight teams; GB B versus Italy, Russia v Germany, France v USA and China v GB A.  Both GB teams made a fantastic start.  In a tremendously tight fight against an under-strength Italian team GB B prevailed 45-44.  The GB A team faced the tougher prospect of a full strength Chinese team, ranked 2nd in the World.  GB took the lead early on and whilst the Chinese closed the gap towards the end of the match GB A won 45-43.  In the other matches France beat the USA 45-38 and Russia beat Germany 45-33.  The USA team began without Chamley-Watson (the individual silver medallist) due to an injury and then suffered further misfortune when Meinhardt (the individual gold medallist) pulled up with a groin injury.  Having lost the match they had no choice but to pull out of the tournament.

In the first semi-final the GB B team took the fight to Russia and opened up an early lead which they held until the seventh bout.  Mepstead then suffered cramp and had to take an injury time out.  He managed to see out the fight but the Russians took advantage of the situation and closed the gap.  Davis anchored the GB B team and was two hits down going into the last match.  He levelled the score at 41-41 but the Russian finished clinically and won 45-42.

The second semi-final between GB A and France was a different affair.  Kruse, Halsted and Kenber all fenced with freedom and confidence and crushed a strong French team 45-25.

The fight off for the Bronze medal started badly for the GB B team who found themselves 15- 7 down after three bouts.  Cook steadied the ship winning the fourth bout 7-2 but Le Pechoux showed his class against Rosowsky and opened up a ten hit lead (25-15).  The French team never looked back and took the Bronze medal 45-27.

The match for the Gold medal was a fitting finale to this Test Event with the GB A team taking on Russia.  Halsted, Kruse and Kenber led 15-14 after the first three bouts and by the time they got to the crucial final three matches GB were 30-27 up with a particularly impressive performance from Kenber.  A tactical substitution saw Jefferies replace Halsted and this proved to be the master stroke that took GB to a comfortable 45-34 victory.  This team will return to this venue next year for the Olympic Games with this victory fresh in the memory.

For the BBC report go to:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/fencing/15904573.stm

Olympic Test Event Report – Saturday 26th November 2011, Men’s Foil Invitational

Today saw the start of the two day fencing test event at ExCel London with a men’s foil individual event.  Teams from China, Italy, France, USA, Germany, Russia and Great Britain took part.  The arena was dressed as it will be at the Games next year other than the Olympic livery and looked quite spectacular.

Eight fencers from the UK started the day, six of whom fell at the first hurdle; Cook lost 15-8 to Massialas (USA), Mepstead 12-11 to Cherimisinov (RUS), Halsted 15-12 to Chamley-Watson (USA), Kenber 15-12 to Zhu (CHN), Rosowsky 15-10 to Lei (CHN) and Davis 15-14 to Imboden (USA).  Mepstead, Rosowsky and Davis, whilst disappointed with the result will take some pleasure from their performance on the piste.

Richard Kruse dominated his first fight and won easily (15-6) against Minuto (ITA).  Ed Jefferies also faced an Italian in Simoncelli and fenced superbly to win 15-5.

In the round of 16, Jefferies fell to Rigine (RUS).  The Russian’s footwork, change of direction and game plan seemed to be too much for the British fencer but he narrowed a big deficit to just two points at 11-9.  It was to no avail as he then only scored one more hit going down 15-10.  Kruse, however, looked confident and was in good form against Massialas (USA).  He went through 15-10 and was able to hit is opponent at will in both offence and defence.

Facing another American, Meinhardt, in the next round and after falling behind early on he drew the scores level at 9-9.  He then missed a few hits and finally got caught out on distance, losing 15-10.

The semi-final fights were both extremely quick bouts.  Lari (ITA) took the fight to Chamley-Watson (USA) which was a mistake against the taller American.  Chamley-Watson went through 15-10 in just 1 minute and 2 seconds.  The other semi-final fight was an all American affair with Imboden taking on Meinhardt.  Imboden led but his compatriot levelled.  Imboden then took the lead again but Meinhardt showed grit and determination and reeled his opponent back in to level the scores at 12-12.  Meinhardt went on to win 15-13.

The Bronze medal match saw the super aggressive Lari (ITA) take on Imboden (USA).  The Italian stuck to the tactics that had served him well all day and won the fight 15-10, again in just over a minute.  The Gold medal match was a very one-sided fight with Meinhardt (USA) beating his compatriot, Chamley-Watson, 15-5.  Chamley-Watson wasn’t moving very well throughout the fight and limped off disappointed.  A great day for the USA team taking three of the top four spots will certainly give the rest of the teams something to think about going into next year.

A team event will be held tomorrow.

 

For the BBC report go to: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/fencing/15904573.stm

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