Lizzie Highton, 20, exceeded all expectations last weekend by winning the women’s epee Senior Satellite event in Copenhagen. Her team mate Jenny McGeever (19) was ranked first after the poule as Highton dropped a fight and was ranked fourth.
Both fencers progressed straight through the round of 32 and were joined by two other Brits in Hannah Lawrence and Abbi Matthews. Lawrence fell at this stage but all three other fencers made it through to the 4 round of 8. McGeever was beaten 15-10 by Zagala (POL) finishing fifth and Matthews was knocked out 15-9 by Highton finishing seventh.
Highton then took on Zagala and always held a one-hit lead. The fight closed out 15-14 on a double and Highton went on to face Ndolo (GER). The tall German stormed to a 6-0 lead and then held it to 8-2. Until then Highton look out of it but she changed her tactics and levelled the scores at 13-13. A double took it to 14-14 and then Highton scored the winning hit.
Speaking afterwards Highton said: “I am pleased with this start to the International season. My lessons have been going well and I felt good. I was particularly pleased with the way I was able to turn around the final. It’s never easy in epee to turn around a six point deficit, especially when faced with a larger opponent who can try to “double” it out. Fortunately I was able to pre-empt this and get back into the fight!”
She is coached by both Alex Agrenich and Neale Thomas. Thomas added: “I am very pleased for Lizzie. She took a great lesson the day before with very accurate point and strong arm and she was very positive. She’s trained hard for the last few months and it’s great to see the reward for effort. Well done!”
After some disappointing international results recently this win will provide a much needed fillip for the team.
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