Epeeist shine brightest in a weekend of cadet success for GB fencers at all three weapons
It was a packed weekend of cadet action in all three weapons with GB foilists competing in Cabries, sabreurs in Goeppingen and most successfully the epeeists in Copenhagen.
On Saturday, Oliver Steed was part of the thirteen-man GB team taking part amongst a field of 103. He dropped one of his five first round fights and two of his five second round fights. This meant that he was ranked 22nd, which earned him a bye through the incomplete round of 128. He cruised through his next two fights, first beating Root (GER) 15-5 and then Kletz (FRA) 15-4. His next fight in the round of 16 was against Brinkmann (GER). This was an altogether much tighter affair with the two fencers trading hits. Steed displayed a great deal of skill landing the last hit to take the fight 15-14. His quarterfinal match against Stadter (GER) was a very one-sided affair with Steed demolishing his opponent 15-4. His semi-final was against Rubes (CZE) who is recognised as one of the best cadet epeeists in the world. Steed was leading at the first break but Rubes fought back and took the fight 15-12.
Speaking straight after the event, Steed said; “I don’t usually like having photo’s taken but when you come third in an international competition you don’t mind. I’m looking forward to Bratislava in the New Year. I would like to thank my fencing ‘buddy’ for today. Jess Gundry was amazing today supporting me in every fight.”
Jon Willis, who was refereeing at the event added; “It’s great to see a British epee fencer not just holding his own at this level but going out and comprehensively beating foreign fencers. Ollie has the skills and desire to use his last few results to springboard himself to further international success.”
Aml Sinclair and Benjamin Atkin also impressed with top 16 finishes.
The women’s event took place on Sunday where Eleanor Cormack was one of twelve competing for GB. A field of 82 went through two rounds of poules with Cormack dropping one of her five first and second round matches. This left her ranked 16th for the knockout stages and meant that she had to fight in the incomplete round of 64. She squeezed past her Austrian opponent, Pinggera 15-13 and then in the round of 32 beat another Austrian, Nitsche, 14-8 on time. In the round of 16 she faced teammate Summers who made a cracking start to the day and was the number seed for the knockout stages. Cormack upset the seedings by winning the fight 15-9. It was a close encounter in the round of 8 against Isola (ITA) but she edged through 15-13. She came unstuck in the semi-final losing 15-11 to Linde (SWE).
Molly Hudson matched her recent Grenoble result by finishing in the top 8 (6th) with Francesca Summers finishing 9th. It is also worth noting that two British referees were used in the finals; Tristan Hale (men’s) and Jon Willis (women’s).
Elsewhere, Ayesha Fihosy finished 8th in the cadet foil event in Cabries with Jai Birch making the top 16. The sabreurs were at it as well with Jonathan Webb and Ruben Amsalem finishing 7th and 8th in Goeppingen with William Deary finishing in the top 16.
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