Podium Place for Laura Sheffield Illustrates Continued Development
Laura Sheffield finished third at the last Junior Women’s Epee World Cup in Dijon at the weekend. The result sets her up nicely for the upcoming majors – the European Championships in Porec and the World Championships in Salt Lake City.
In a field of 139 Sheffield dropped two fights from six in the first round and was ranked 48th for the direct elimination stages. She went on to beat Cervenkova (CZE) 15-8, Kolzielski (GER) 15-9, Maccagno (ITA) 14-11, World number 24 Fofanova (RUS) 15-14 and World number 11 Murtazaeva (RUS) 15-13 to make the medal matches.
She faced World number 1, Gaia Traditi (ITA) in the semi-finals but lost 15-10. Angelina Favre (FRA) took the title beating Traditi 15-11 in the final whilst Sheffield shared the bronze medal position with Veronika Bieleszova (CZE).
Speaking after the event Lead ADP Epee Coach, John Rees said, “Laura had a tough run to the bronze medal with back-to-back fights with Russian fencers. In both cases she pulled it back from a deficit in the final period to win exceptionally close matches. Her resilience, grit and determination were apparent throughout. In her semi-final she fell to the current world ranked number 1. Laura is a credit to Great Britain.”
Shortly after collecting her medal, Laura added, “I am absolutely delighted to have won a bronze medal at the Dijon World Cup. After some tough matches and this World Cup being the last of my junior career, the victory was even more special. I would like to thank my amazing coach Oana Puiu and all my training partners at Brixton Fencing Club for helping me achieve this. Thank you also to British Fencing and ADP coach John Rees for his excellent support during the DEs and to everyone who cheered me on and the team spirit at the competition. I would also like to thank my family who have put so much time and effort into fencing over the past 10 years and are always there to support and encourage me through the highs and the lows. I am also very grateful for the support given to me by Sportsaid who partnered me with Royal Bank of Canada. In addition thanks to GLL who have given me free membership to the great gym and leisure centre at Brixton. Today was exhilarating and definitely a team result but particularly my medal would not have been possible without the dedication of my coach Oana. Regardless of medals, fencing is a great sporting family and I’m grateful to have met such inspiring people over the years.”
Laura will next be in action at the European Championships later this month.
Laura is on the British Fencing Athlete Development Programme, funded by Sport England: https://www.sportengland.org/. More information about ADP camps, programmes and updates can be found here: https://www.britishfencing.com/gbr-fencing/gbr-development-programmes/gbr-athlete-development-programme/.
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