GB Men’s cadet epee team take the gold medal in Belgrade, Serbia at the 2021 EFC cadet event.
The GBR 1 team of Alec Brooke (Knightsbridge Fencing Club), Cador Beautyman (Knightsbridge Fencing Club), Liam Kew (Crawley Swords) and David Perkins (Crawley Swords) pulled out an outstanding team performance to take the top place.
Seeded 6th at the start of the day, and having a bye to the Last 32 round, the team faced Russia 4 for their first match. After a comfortable win (45 – 28), the team defeated Ukraine 3 (45 -34), Hungary 2 (45 – 39) in the quarter-finals.
In the semi-finals, Russia 2 proved to be a significant test. The team were down by six hits going into the 6th leg. But the team came together demonstrating composure and maturity to level the score by the penultimate leg to 35 all. Brooke, the current European number 1 ranked fencer, continued his good form and marched the team into the finals with a strong ninth leg with the win (45 – 41).
In the final against Hungary 1, after establishing a lead from the first leg and controlling the match, GBR1 took the Gold medal with a 45 – 34 victory.
Tamas Kovas, coach from Knightsbridge Fencing Club who supported the team, said “All four team members played critical roles in the matches. In most of the matches, the GBR team managed to take the lead in the key middle part of the match and close the contest in the final period. At no point did anyone allow their bout to get away from them as they all followed team strategy and understood their roles. The final in particular was a superb team effort where the GBR team won 7 of the 9 matches against the favoured, top Hungarian team, with Alec going into the final bout with a 9 point lead to secure a 45-34 victory.”
Dan Kew (father of Liam) observed “The lads were incredible; they came together to decide the team order for the matches and worked for each other and stuck to the plan. Even if they were down, they never panicked to make up the hits.”
Lead Epee Coach for the Athlete Development Programme (ADP), John Rees commented “At the ADP camps we have focussed on team matches. Supporting the athletes to work as a team, making those connections and learning to communicate effectively. In particular, empowering the athletes to take ownership of the decision-making of team orders and strategies. Giving the athletes the autonomy to own that space, and only calling on the coach when required for advice is one of the many reasons why this result is so pleasing. Tamas did a great job in guiding the athletes throughout the day.”
British Fencing and the ADP would like to thank the parents and the personal coaches for their continued support at the event.
The team are all on the British Fencing Athlete Development Programme, funded by Sport England. More information about ADP camps, programmes and updates can be found here.
Full results for Belgrade are here.
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