I am pleased to report on a very exciting start to my 2017 Wheelchair fencing season.
Having taken a short break to rest and reflect on my performance at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games where I took Silver in Epee, I was keen to get started again. My first event of the 2017 season took place on 17th-19th, February at the IWASF World cup in Eger, Hungary.
It had been five months since my last competition and so it was encouraging to see that I had not lost any form, taking the bronze medal in my first weapon, Epee and placing 5th in Foil.
It was a quick turn-around and I was off to the next World Cup of the season, being held in Pisa, Italy from 17th-19th March. This was also the event that I had chosen to debut my change of second weapon.
After discussions with my coach Peter Rome, I had decided that I would like to change my second weapon to Sabre, as by the nature of the way the weapon is fenced, it may be better suited to me than Foil.
Although I had previously picked up the Sabre for occasional National Events, I have never had any coaching in the weapon and so in January this year I started to train in Sabre.
I have been really enjoying getting to grips with a new challenge, there are a lot of differences between the weapons. (Sabre has a very different technique as points are score by cutting rather than the thrusting of Epee or Foil).
So, on Friday 17th, I was thrilled to have the best debut that I could possibly have hoped for, beating the current Sabre Paralympic Champion in the Final 15 – 9 to take the Gold medal.
I was so pleased with this result and my performance and I’m really looking forward to continuing to work on and develop my skills in this weapon.
On Sunday 19th I competed in my first weapon, Epee and can report an equally successful day.
Having won all of my Poule Matches, I went through to the Direct Elimination Round ranked No1 which gave me a Bye through to the next rounds. Here I met and defeated Colaco BRA, 15-1 to take me through to face seasoned Paralympian Citerne FRA. This match was a lot tighter, going point for point until I was able to take the lead, eventually winning 15- 10.
In the semi-finals, I defeated Pender POL 15 -1, taking me through to the Final where I met Betti ITA. I am thrilled and somewhat relieved to report that I beat him on his home turf 15 -3 to take my second Gold medal of the tournament.
So, with the fantastic result of double World Cup Gold under my belt so early in the season, I’m in a great place to start the next four-year cycle with the end goal being Paralympic Gold at the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Thank you for reading my update, and I’d like to thank you all for your support.