11th February 2014
GB CADET CHAMPIONSHIPS 2014 REPORT
The 2014 GB Cadet Championships took place on 8th February at the University of East London’s fabulous Sports Dock arena. The event saw 315 fencers compete across all six weapons.
Sixty competitors battled it out for the 2014 GB Cadet Men’s Epee title. After a busy first round, Charles Dean (Truro Fencing Club) and Theo Edwards (Oundle, Peterborough and Stamford Epee Club) topped the ranking list for the direct elimination stages but both were knocked out in the round of 32. Andrew Hughes (Eltham College), whose only loss in the first round was to Edwards, comfortably fought his way through the table to make the final. He was joined by George Morris (Stockport Sword Club) who had recovered from a less than perfect start to the day. Winning only two of his five first round matches, Morris was only ranked 34th for the knockout stages. Cleary he had worked things out by the time the elimination fights began. He knocked out Theo Edwards, 15-11, in the round of 32 and other than a close victory, 15-14, over Owen Jordan (Frisby Fencers) in the round of eight, was untroubled on his way to the gold medal match.
The title fight began in typical cagey fashion but Morris started better than his opponent, picking off the first two hits. Hughes settled though and there was only one point in it (8-7 to Morris) at the first break. Morris began the second period much the same as he had the first by establishing a two-hit lead (10-8). This gave him breathing space and he opened the distance up making it more difficult for his opponent to hit him. This tactic paid off and by the second break he was 14-9 up and very much in control. He made the winning hit, a second intention parry riposte to the high line, early in the third period to take the title, 15-9. Antoine Belot (Escrime Academy) and William Gallimore-Tallen (Four of Clubs) took the bronze medals.
The Cadet Women’s Epee title was contested by fifty-three athletes and Alix Turley (Malvern Hills Sword Fencing) made light work of getting to the gold medal match. She won all of her first round matches, took the number one seed and was barely troubled throughout the direct elimination. She was joined in the final by her club mate, Danielle Lawson, who despite dropping a fight in the first round made it through. Lawson did have the tougher semi-final of the two though, only just beating Lydia Stanier (Furth) 15-13.
The title fight lived up to expectations, with both fencers unable to establish a meaningful lead. Turley led 5-4 at the first break but the intensity of the match increased in the second period. Lawson scored twice before Turley decided to up the pace of the fight, leveling things up at 7-7. Lawson managed to steady the ship and retake the lead, 10-8, at the next break. The lead changed yet again in the third period as Turley went 12-11 up. At 13-11 up and only 36 seconds left on the clock, it would have been easy to think that Turley was about to take the title. There was more drama to come though. It took less than 20 seconds for Lawson to level the fight and then both fencers settled for the priority minute. Lawson, with the advantage, was content to sit back and let her opponent do the work from distance. It paid off, as she was able to step away from a long attack from Turley and then strike in the low line to take the title. Rebecca Wakefield, another Malvern Hills fencer, shared the bronze medal spot with Stanier.
Seventy-nine foilists took part in the biggest field of the Cadet events. Daniel Kiss (Salle Kiss) was in top spot after winning all of his first round matches and cruised into the semi-finals where he won a tough fight 15-14 against Dominic De Almeida (Fighting Fit) to fight for the title. Despite dropping a first round fight and only being ranked tenth for the knockout stages, Kamal Minott (Newham Swords) also had a relatively easy run to the semi-final. There, a 15-13 victory over John Feaster (Malvern Hills Sword Fencing) meant that he went on to fight for gold.
Minott started the better of the two in the final match, taking a 4-1 lead but 4 unanswered hits from Kiss saw him go ahead, 5-4 with a minute left in the first period. Somewhat controversially, Minott retook the lead having scored with a parry riposte. Kiss was shown a yellow card for covering and Minott was awarded a second hit. This seemed to spur the Newham Swords fencer on and by the first break he was 9-6 up. Unable to regularly find a way around his opponent’s defence, Kiss was unable to take control of the fight. Minott went on to take the title 15-13.
Forty-eight fencers took to the piste in this event where Yasmin Campbell (Fighting Fit) and Jade Clarke (Wellington Swords) put in supreme performances in the first round to take the top two spots for the direct elimination. Neither fencer was in any danger of going out on their way to the final.
The title fight – a battle between these two left-handers - started slowly for Clarke but she took control of the distance at 4-2 down. Luring her opponent into attacking from long distance, Clarke was able to land direct hits with perfect timing. She took a 10-7 lead into the one and only break of the fight. Sensing victory, Clarke began the second period by applying a bit more pressure on her opponent. The tactic worked well for her and Campbell was only able to score twice more in the fight. A comfortable 15-9 victory saw the title go to the Wellington Sword fencer. The bronze medals went to Katrina Feklistova (Newham Swords) and Emma Kurtis (Hymers College).
The men’s sabre field of forty-eight fencers saw dominant first round performances from William Deary (Truro Fencing Club) and Jamie Craze (Truro Fencing Club). They both won all of their fights making them the top two seeds for the knockout stages. Whilst Deary made light work of making the gold medal match, Craze found himself in a real battle in the round of 32 against James Fotherby (Xiphoi Fencing). He squeezed through 15-14 and went on to make the final.
Deary came out for the title fight in confident fashion. In the first period he produced a stunning display of tactical sabre fencing and took an 8-2 lead into the break in a little over 30 seconds. He remained in almost complete control of the second period with Craze unable to effectively defend himself from Deary’s attacks. This proved to be enough and Deary walked away with the title with a 15-7 victory. His dominance in this event makes him one to watch for the future. The bronze medals went to Eden Amsalem (Camden Fencing Club) and Nicholas Howes (South London Swords).
A relatively small field of twenty-seven fencers took part in this event. With no defeats in the first round Caitlin Maxwell (Truro Fencing Club) and Isabel Turnbull (MX Fencing Club) were seeded one and two, respectively, for the knockout stages. Both merited their seeding as they made it through to the final. Maxwell made steady progress to the semi-finals where she beat Shreya Anil (Camden Fencing Club), 15-13, to make the gold medal match. It was harder work for her opponent who edged Maria Chart (Truro Fencing Club), 15-14, in her quarterfinal match before beating Laura Gladdish (MX Fencing Club), 15-13, in her semi-final.
The gold medal match started with both fencers trading hits to 5-5. Turnbull was the busier of the two fencers but Maxwell’s laid-back approach and excellent footwork saw her take an 8-6 lead into the break. Turnbull’s aggressive approach to the second period saw the momentum shift to her as she leveled the fight at 9-9. Starting to show some emotion, Maxwell was never able to open up more than a one-hit lead and the fight went to 13-13. Two excellently timed and executed hits on Turnbull’s approach saw Maxwell take the title 15-13. Maxwell’s victory meant a clean sweep of the Cadet sabre titles for Truro Fencing Club and at just 14 years old there is surely a bright future ahead for this young fencer.