A round up of Day 3 of the action from the World Championships in Catania.
Tom Hall-Butcher believes all things point to a successful team event for Great Britain after the wheelchair fencer turned his fortunes around on day three of the World Championships in Italy.
The 21-year-old was back in action in Catania in the sabre, looking to put Monday’s foil disappointment of losing all five of his pool fights firmly behind him.
And Hall-Butcher did exactly that, winning three of his pool fights and then a last-32 match against Chinese In Su Park before he succumbed in the final-16 round to Ru Yi Ye, also from China.
But with Thursday’s sabre team event still to come, Hall-Butcher has vowed to go even further and once and for all banish his first-day demons.
“I am so much happier with how I did in the sabre than the foil and I expected to as well as the sabre is my weapon,” said Hall-Butcher, who like the rest of the British fencing team is supported by Beazley.
“The foil didn’t go great but I felt really good out there in the sabre and I am really pleased with how far I got and how I performed on the way there.
“I am never truly happy when I lose and don’t win the whole thing but when I consider that I am at a World Championships with the best around then I am pleased.
“I just felt right out there and that bodes really well because I still have the sabre team to come and I think I can do even better with the confidence I have now.
“If I fence the way I fenced in the individual and I feel as good as I feel then I am going to kick some serious butt in the team event – just watch.”
Meanwhile, fellow wheelchair fencers Stewart Elliott and David Heaton were also in action in the sabre, both failing to escape their pool despite Heaton winning one of his fights.
Also on display were the women’s wheelchair foil fencers although Gabby Down, Justine Moore and Suzannah Rockett couldn’t make it through to the elimination rounds.
It was a case of déjà vu for James Honeybone in the men’s sabre as he lost to Russia’s Alexey Yakimenko at the final 64, having lost by the same scoreline to the two-time European champion just three months earlier in Sheffield.
In the women’s foil Natalia Sheppard, Martina Emmanuel and Sophie Trioano all failed to make it through their final-64 fights, Trioano going down to five-time Olympic gold medallist and eventual 2011 Worlds champion Valentina Vezzali 15-3 in her fight.
But Trioano insists she was pleased to face the home-crowd favourite as it sets her up nicely for Friday’s team event.
“It was always going to be a tough fight because she is a several times Olympic medallist and one of the favourites for the gold,” she said.
“But that is why you come to a World Championships because you want to face off against the best from around the world and right now that is her.
“There are some positives I can take away but also some negatives too so I will do this and make sure I am ready for the team event which I am really looking forward to.”