Continued Progress for Donaghue and Rhys Pollitt
Joe Donaghue and Rafael Rhys Pollitt returned from the EFC Cadet Circuit event in Warsaw this weekend with bronze medals.
In a field of 158 Rhys Pollitt came through the poules winning all his fights and was ranked eleventh for the knockout stages. Donaghue won five from six first round matches and ranked twentieth.
Donaghue stormed through the elimination stages beating Matusewicz (POL) 15-7, Gyorgy (SVK) 15-8 and Hussein (QAT) 15-6 to make the round of 16. He faced a tougher fight in that round but beat Shacharczuk (POL) 15-11 and went on to defeat Fazekas (SVK) 15-10 to make the semi-finals.
Meanwhile, Rhys Pollitt was also making waves in the elimination stages. He beat Gajda (POL) 15-3, Majewski (POL) 15-6, Olezewski (POL) 15-9, Leskovac (CRO) 15-5 and Wanyama (NED) 15-10 to make the top four.
Both British fencers had to settle for bronze though as Jakub Kotek (POL) defeated Donaghue 15-9 and Adam Jakubowski (POL) beat Rhys Pollitt 15-3. Jakubowski went on to win the event.
Donaghue and Rhys Pollitt credited British Fencing’s Athlete Development Programme for the sustained support they have received throughout their cadet career. Donaghue went on to thank coaches Ziemek Wojciechowski and Peter Barwell at ZFW Fencing Club. Rhys Pollitt echoed that gratitude to his coaching team of Paweł Osmański and Dominique Szokolovics at Fencers Club London.
Head Coach Szokolovics, who accompanied Donaghue and Rhys Pollitt said, “It was a pleasure to see our GB boys in the medals, making up one half of the winners’ podium as well as gaining the experience they need to develop into strong juniors for the future. They did GB very proud.”
Chris Galesloot, British Fencing’s ADP Lead Foil Coach added, “It’s fantastic to see two of our top cadets foilists perform so well at this EFC event. They should be very proud of their performances. I am also delighted to see four other younger athletes building their international experience in the individual and team competition. My thanks go out to the parents and coaches for organising this trip.”
Ziemek Wojciechowski said of Joe Donaghue’s performance, “Joe’s bronze medal at the ECC in Warsaw illustrates real improvement in his development. This result represents a coming together of Joe’s own talents, the hard work he regularly puts in training at the Leon Paul Fencing Centre and the time he put in before the start of the season on international training camps.”
Joe and Rafael are 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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