Medway Park hosts GB Cadet National Championships
The six weapon GB Cadet and Junior National Championships began yesterday with all of the Cadet events. Medway Park, Gillingham, proudly hosted the event that occupied both of its main arenas.
A field of 56 took to the piste in the men’s epee event. Oliver Steed (Skipton Fencing Club) won the title in a hugely competitive event. He won all of his first round fights finishing joint top seed with Harrison Nichols. He went on to beat Smith (15-8), Birch (15-3), Hoffman (15-14) and Dean (15-12) before facing Craig Worman (Millfield School Fencing Club) in the final. It turned out to be a hugely tactical start but Steed led 4-2 at the first break. The action stepped up a gear in the second period with both fencers intent on taking the fight to their opponent. Steed still led at the second break but only by one hit, 10-9. The third period was a repeat of the first with neither fencer waiting to make a mistake but Steed started picking off single lights and went on to win 15-10.
He spoke to British Fencing shortly after being awarded his medal and said; “I fenced the best I could today and was on good form. It was tight going into the final period of the last match. I worked out that even though Craig is a pommeller, my long attacks were working. To be the 2013 champion is excellent especially as I have another year at cadet level.”
The bronze medals were won by Charles Dean (Truro Fencing Club) and Harrison Nichols (Redhill & Reigate Epee Club).
The women’s epee field of 50 began the day at Medway Park and at the end Francesca Summers of Malvern Hills Sword Fencing was crowned champion. She began the day by winning all of her poule fights whilst only dropping 4 hits making her the number one seed for the knockout stages. Summers then went on to beat Hamilton (15-9), Bradley (15-11), Hide (15-8) and Wakefield (15-10) before facing Danielle Lawson (RGS Worcester) in the final. Summers started the final well taking the fight into the first break with a 6-2 lead. A patient start to the second period was followed by Summers picking off her opponent seven times in a row before Lawson snatched one back. At the second break the fight looked all but over at 13-2 and Summers made sure of that with a quick start to the third period. She ran out a 15-4 winner.
Commenting on her performance, Summers said; “I fenced well. Having watched Danielle earlier in the day I thought the final fight was going to be awkward so I knew I had to keep calm and fence more defensively than I usually do. I’m very pleased that I won and want to thank my coach and my Dad.”
Justine Lambert (The Kings School Fencing Club) and Rebecca Wakefield (Malvern Hills Sword Fencing) won the bronze medals.
The men’s foil event saw an entry of 56 with the title going to Kamal Minott (Newham Swords). Minott started the day well winning all of his first round fights and earning him a seeding of fifth for the knockout stages. There he beat Mulcahy (15-2), Bryant (15-10), Jordan (15-6) and Kiss (15-13) before facing Ibrahim Bashir (Britsol Fencing Club) in the gold medal match. Bashir started the final well with two clean hits but Minott stormed back taking a 13-7 lead into the break. His variety was key to this, mixing counter attacks with long slow attacks and always keeping Bashir under pressure. Going into the second period Minott fenced with great confidence and won the fight 15-8 with a parry riposte.
Talking about his win, Minott said; “I thought I fenced well all day. When I reached the semi-final I knew that it was there for the taking and I fenced my heart out. My coaches deserve a lot of praise for all the hard work they have put into me.”
The bronze medals went to John Feaster (Malvern Hills Sword Fencing) and Daniel Kiss (Salle Kiss Fencing Club).
The women’s foil event started with a field of 34 with Yvonne Chart (Truro Fencing Club) taking the title in thrilling style. She started well, winning all of her poule fights and was seeded third going into the knockout stages. She then beat Rice (15-4), Dmochowska (15-7) and Smith (15-12) before facing Emma Kurtis (Hymers College) in the final. It was a very cagey start from both fencers but they traded thirteen hits in the opening period with Chart edging it 7-6. It remained tight in the second period but Chart managed to pull away to lead 11-8 at the second break. She showed incredible patience in the final period and was able to take the title 15-10.
A clearly delighted Chart spoke after the event and said; “I’d like to thank my coaches. It’s great to bring a foil gold back to a club dominated by sabreurs. I had to keep my cool in the final to avoid making any silly mistakes and I did that.”
Katie Smith (Edinburgh Fencing Club) and Zoe Sudderick (Aldershot Fencing Club) won the bronze medals.
A competitive field of 43 men’s sabreurs took part in this event with the overall title going to Ruben Amsalem (Camden Fencing Club). He won all of his first round fights and then beat Russen (15-3), Gellet (15-9), Maxwell (15-8) and Moore (15-10) on his way to the final with William Deary (Truro Fencing Club). The final started with both fencers keen to use the whole piste. Deary took a 6-5 lead before Amsalem took matters into his own hands by scoring three unanswered hits in a row. He went into the break 8-6 up and looking very determined. That determination saw him through to win 15-11 in a fight which both fencers demonstrated the value of great footwork.
Amsalem said after his win; “I’m happy with the way I fenced especially in the final. It’s the first time I’ve won this title after coming second two years ago. Now I have the gold. My focus is now on the Euros and the Worlds.”
The bronze medals were won by two Camden Fencing Club fencers, William Moore and Jonathan Webb.
A modest entry of 22 meant that the women’s sabre event was the first to finish. The title was won by local fencer, Isabel Turnbull, 15, from just outside Tonbridge. Fencing under MX Fencing Club, Turnbull won all of her first round matches before defeating Alba (15-4), Chart (15-13) and Gladdish (15-5) on her way to meeting Shreya Anil (Truro Fencing Club) in the final. An intriguing battle ensued with both fencers feeling each other out in the first period. Turnbull led 8-5 at the break and came out on the attack right from the beginning of the second period, storming to a 14-7 lead. Anil dug deep and staged a marvellous comeback to trail just 14-12. Turnbull was not to be overcome though and she took the last hit and the title 15-12.
Speaking shortly after the final, Turnbull said; “This feels great and is totally unexpected after a tough international season. The hard work has paid off and I’m lucky to have so many people helping me – especially my friends, my coach (Phil Sheppard-Foster) and my dad. I went with my gut today and it worked.”
The bronze medals were won by Laura Gladdish (MX Fencing Club) and Kiera Sleeman (Truro Fencing Club).
Five of the six finals were held in a gala event with special guest Mayor of Gillingham, Vaughan Hewitt, who was kind enough to present the medals with British Fencing’s Board Chairman, David Teasdale.
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