Honeybone to face No.1 in Worlds

10th October 2011


10th October 2011
A round up of Day 1 of the action from the World Championships in Catania.
 
It will be a case of déjà vu for James Honeybone at the world championships but the sabreur has vowed to not let lightning strike twice in Italy.
 
The 20-year-old was in fine form on day one in Catania, booking himself a spot in Wednesday's final 64 after beating Poland's Marcin Koniusz 15-11 in the first knockout phase.
 
And the reward is a tie against world No.1 Alexey Yakimenko from Russia, winner of the European championships the last two years.
 
Honeybone's first senior European championships, just three months ago in Sheffield, was ended by Yakimenko, the Brit going down 15-10 at the last 32 stage.
 
But Honeybone insists all is not lost, believing that he shook up the favourite for the world crown before and that he can do it again.
 
"I have a really tough draw as I am against the world No.1, who I actually fought against at the Europeans and he beat me I the final 32," said Honeybone - who like the rest of the British fencing team is supported by Beazley.
 
"That was a tough fight but I ran him a lot closer than other people tend to as I lost 15-10 and during the break he was having a very heated discussion with his coach.
 
"So I think I worried him a little bit then and that gives me a lot of confidence going into our next fight. Obviously it is a very tough fight as he is the one man to beat at the moment because he has won the last five World Cups but I don't see why I can't do it.
 
"I have beaten guys in the top ten in the world before and I have proven that I am a good fencer at senior level and although this is just my first senior world championships I am not running scared at all."
 
Elsewhere in the men's sabre competition, Alex O'Connell bowed out at the final 96 stage, going down 15-10 to Belarusian Alexei Romanovitch.
 
And it was a similar story for Jon Willis in the epee as he exited at the exact same stage following an 8-7 defeat to Romania's Adrian Pop.
 
However, there was more joy in the women's foil with Natalia Shepherd, Martina Emanuel and Sophie Trioano all reaching the final 64 stage, the latter two having to negotiate sudden death to do so.
 
Anna Bentley was the only individual to exit the individual women's foil competition but even she insists all is not lost with Friday's team event still to come.
 
"I am massively disappointed to be knocked out obviously but anything that happened in the individual event would have been a bonus anyway," said Bentley.
 
"For me it has always been about the team so I need to make sure I go away and learn from this in time to do better for the team.
 
"It is a bit disappointing to end my individual year on a bit of a downer after such a good Europeans but it won't be a downer if we can do well as a team at the end of the week."
 

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