14th June 2011
A record entry of 1300 fencers took part in the European Veterans Championships hosted by the French Veterans Fencers Association in Henin-Beaumont, near Lille, last week.
Every major European country fielded their largest contingent of fencers ever for this competition, and Great Britain was no exception with 153 weapon entries across all categories. The French alone, on home territory, fielded 347 weapon entries.
The competition promised to be very fierce with the usual high numbers of ex-Olympians and Champions from every country with many defending their European Veterans titles from when the competition was last held in Hungary two years ago.
The competition was split into Categories 1 – 4 in each discipline, and the highlights of the event for Great Britain are as follows:
- Cat 1: Leslie MacDonald reached 44th place
- Cat 2: Neal Mallet made the last 16
- Cat 3: Jonathan Stanbury 6th, Graham Paul 7th, Mike Bradbury 8th and Robin Davenport 10th
- Cat 4: Robert Phelps placed 12th, Jim Pilkington 14th and Bill Osbaldeston 15th
- Cat 2: Lindsay Watkiss made the last 8
- Cat 3: Graham Paul won Gold, Steve Fox won Bronze
- Cat 1: Duncan Rowlands made the last 16
- Cat 2: Chris Prevett came 13th
- Cat 3: Richard Cohen won Gold
- Cat 4: Alan Ault won Bronze
- Cat 2: Three Brits made the last 16; Jenny Morris, Jane Clayton, Kate Smith
- Cat 3: Kate Elvin won Bronze
- Cat 4: Janet Cooksey won Gold, Carol Wengraf and Connie Adam both won Bronze
- Cat 2: Jane Clayton finished in 14th place, Jenny Morris finished 19th
- Cat 3: Maggie Myers achieved 9th place
- Cat 4: Janet Cooksey won Gold, Kristin Payne won Silver
- Cat 1: Beth Davidson won Silver
- Cat 2: Jane Hutchison won Bronze, Jane Clayton made the last 8
- Cat 3: Silvia Earl won Gold, Maggie Myers and Viv Frith made the last 8
- Cat 4: Carol Wengraf won Gold, Janet Cooksey won Silver, Connie Adam won Bronze
Great Britain ended the Championships at the top of the medal table, with Italy and Russia not far behind. A special presentation was made to Janet Cooksey, who had won through to compete in three finals, and she was presented with a fencing statuette to mark her remarkable achievement.
The Championships produced an excellent result for Great Britain, and the large squad fought well to ensure the top place for GB in the tables.