9th April 2012
With Men’s Foilist Richard Kruse qualified automatically for the Olympics, each of the remaining five disciplines will be represented by one British athlete in the European Zonal qualifiers in Bratislava, on 21st and 22nd April.
The following athletes have been confirmed:
Women's Foil – Natalia Sheppard (Reserve: Martina Emanuel)
Men's Sabre – James Honeybone (Reserve: Alex O'Connell)
Women's Sabre – Joanna Hutchison
Men's Epee – Jon Willis (Reserve: Philip Marsh)
Women's Epee – Corinna Lawrence (Reserve: Georgina Usher)
Louise Bond-Williams (Women’s Sabre) has had to pull out with injury and is naturally devastated but will be supporting her team mate Jo in the qualifier.
Natalia Sheppard, James Honeybone and Corinna Lawrence will be amongst 24 other European fencers in each of their categories, whereas Jon Willis (Men’s Epee) and Jo Hutchison (Women’s Sabre) whose disciplines are without a team event in this year’s Games, will compete against just 11 other fencers for the European individual qualification spot.
The qualifying format will be a seeded poules round, followed by Direct Elimination. The winner from each discipline will gain a place in the Olympics, and it is remotely possible that depending on a number of factors, a second placed fencer might qualify as well.
As host nation, Great Britain will receive eight places for fencers at the Games, in addition to Kruse and any other athletes who qualify through the Zonals.