The most successful major youth Championships for Great Britain ended on a high note as Jaimie Cook, Callum Penman, David Sosnov and Nye Ulferts Kilpatrick won the Cadet Men’s Foil Team silver medal at the Cadet and Junior European Championships in Novi Sad, Serbia.
Ranked number one for the elimination stages after their individual performances, they had a bye through the individual round of 32 and went on to beat Austria 45-19 and Latvia 45-27 to earn themselves a place in the semi-final against opponents Italy.
The first leg went to the Italians but a measured bout from Penman set up the next leg for Sosnov who by using timing and distance to execute his stop-hits, swung the momentum of the match, winning the third leg 11-5. Through the next three bouts the British team maintained and built a lead to 30-24. Penman, in fine form, dispatched his opponent 5-0. With the momentum firmly with the British team, they professionally closed out the match 45 -29, setting up the final with the Hungarians.
The gold medal match and the opening leg of the final saw Cook initiate an early lead. Penman secured the second against the individual silver medalist, Balint, and Sosnov increased the margin against newly-crowned Cadet Champion, Budahazy, to 15-9. The gold medal, however, started to slip away from the British in the last three legs. A strong performance from Budahazy, winning his bout 12-3, put Hungary in front. With GBR now forced to take the fight on, the defensive strengths of their opponents proved too much. The victors, Hungary, won 45-42.
Cadet Men’s Foil coach Keith Cook said, “The boys were just brilliant today and worked so hard for each other.”
As the Junior and Cadet European Championships drew to their close, it is worth highlighting that four GBR fencers achieved quarter-final finishes in their individual events. Julia Caron in the Junior Women’s Epee (6th), Carolina Stutchbury in Cadet Women’s Foil (7th), and in Cadet Men’s Foil David Sosnov (6th) with Callum Penman (7th).
Chef de Mission, Ian Lichfield concluded with a broad brush stroke portrait of the the growth experienced at the championships as well as a nod to the future, saying, “The event also demonstrated that the athletes’ performances weren’t just about medals but supporting and witnessing the GB women’s epee team doing the right thing, in the right way, through personal sacrifice to stand up for something truly bigger than sport – was very humbling.”
“Recognition also should be given to the personal and ADP coaches, parents, and staff that supported the athletes in their development to get to this position. With the World Championships around the corner, our attention has now turned to the final preparations for Dubai in a few weeks’ time to build on what we have achieved.”
The team are on BF’s Athlete Development Programme (ADP), funded by Sport England. You can find out more about the ADP here.
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