Alec Brooke ended his European Cadet (U17) career on the podium, taking bronze in the Cadet Men’s Epee individual event at the Cadet and Junior European Championships in Novi Sad. The medal followed on from the silver he’d won in the Junior individual event showing his dedication and achievement at the weapon, with the strong potential to build.
He began his day by storming to the top seed position for the elimination stages, winning every fight in his poule and dropping just eight hits. That is some going in this event. A bye through the round of 128 was followed by victories over Cristian Corbu (ROU) 15-11, Neel Widmer (SUI) 15-9, Giacomo Pietrobelli (ITA) 15-14 and Oliver Lassik (EST) 15-5 for a place in the semi-finals.
Brooke’s next opponent Alon Sarid (ISR), a right handed pommeller, had a clear tactical plan from the outset. Once Sarid gained the first point, he switched to his defensive strategy and operated with patience from a long distance, ready to retreat quickly away from Brooke’s fast attacks, scoring with well-timed stop hits and counter attacks. In the first period, Brooke was given a P (passivity) yellow card when he was 4-1 down, that tactically played into his opponent’s gameplan. The card forced him to take risks during the fight or face a penalty hit for passivity. By the second break, Sarid was 12-5 ahead and the Israeli went on to win the fight 15-7.
Although Brooke was visibly disappointed, his bronze medal place – his fourth EFC medal of the season – means he nonetheless finishes the season as Europe’s number one Cadet Mens Epeeist.
Speaking after the fight he said, “After defeating a number of tough opponents in a difficult draw, I was gutted to lose the semi-final but of course still pleased with another podium finish.”
Ian Lichfield added, “Alec has taken medals at four out the five EFC Under 17 events that he has attended this season. This is a fantastic achievement and he, his family and his personal coach Tamas Kovacs, should be deservedly proud. Today Alec lost to an opponent whose style of fencing he had never experienced before and on this occasion could not find the answers. Alec is so determined and has a bright future ahead of him. I have no doubt this last match will act as a learning point for him.”
Alec is an athlete on BF’s Athlete Development Programme (ADP), funded by Sport England. You can find out more about the ADP here.
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