5th April 2011
Britain has a new Junior World Champion in 16 year old Philip Marsh from Bradford on Avon. Having finished in the top eight of the Cadet World Championships three days earlier these Championships have proven to be more successful that Phillip was expecting. He was ranked 40th seed after the poules in the Junior men’s epee event out of a field of 133 – the largest single event at this year’s championships.
This ranking meant that he had to win a knockout bout just to get into the top 64 whilst his team mate, Jack Hudson’s superb first round took him to 14th seed and a bye. Marsh despatched his Slovakian opponent, Farmer, 15-3. His top 64 fight against Khachtatryan (ARM) was also comfortable with Marsh employing fast attacks and counter time to win 15-9.
The next fight against 8th seed Vallasio (ITA) looked a difficult task, on paper. On the piste it was an entirely different story with Marsh storming to a 15-8 victory. He proved too much of a challenge for his next two opponents as well, running out winner against two Hungarians, Suto (15-6) and File (15-14).
Jack Hudson performed well all day but eventually fell 15-6 at the round of 16 to the number 3 seed, Lahtinen (FIN). All eyes could now focus on Marsh, who was up against number 5 seed and former World Champion, Glazkov (RUS). Marsh had been beaten 15-3 by Glazkov at the European Championship a few weeks earlier, but once he got the lead in this fight he never gave it away and ran out the winner at 15-10.
The Final was an amazing spectacle with noisy British support countered by the even louder support of the Egyptians who were supporting Alaa El Din Fayz. An extremely tight fight followed but when Marsh moved ahead 11-10 he took complete control of the fight and took the World Championship gold 15-10.
Asked how he felt after the event Marsh replied, “Very, very tired and it hasn’t fully sunk in as it was completely unexpected. I have to touch the medal every now and again to remind myself. I don’t normally worry about my appearance and suddenly people are checking my hair and straightening my collars. The support has been overwhelming.”
Marsh trains at Bath Swords and his ecstatic coach, Sue Benny added, “I have always known this young man has an exceptional talent.”
Piers Martin, Chief Executive of British Fencing, “Congratulations to Philip on this remarkable result for a fencer who is still a cadet. Our thanks go to his support team and our premier partner, Beazley, who sponsored the trip.”