28th February 2011
Chrystall Nicoll took centre stage again as international sabre arrived on our doorstep this weekend, as the world’s best female sabreurs arrived in London for the England Trophy. Crystal Palace was dressed spectacularly in what was the best presented fencing competition held in the UK for a very long time. Without sponsorship from Beazley it would have been very difficult to hold a world class event of this standard.
On the piste, Britain’s women demonstrated their continued strength in depth with Bond-Williams, Hutchison and Nicoll all making the round of 64. Bond-Williams finished strongly in 19th place, and Nicoll lost narrowly to world number 1, Mariel Zagunis, in an extremely close fight and took 15th. Nonetheless her world ranking climbed to an all time high of 21. The individual event was won by Kharlan (UKR). In the team event GB last out narrowly to Poland in the round of 16 and finished 11th.
Meanwhile our women’s foilists were competing at the Grand Prix in Gdansk, Poland. The Italians dominated the event with a 1-2-3 finish, but promising results came from 23 year old Sophie Troiano (46th) and 25 year old Claire Bennett (57th).
The international action continues this week in Austria as the GB Cadet (under 17) team head to the European Championships in Klagenfurt. A full team of 24 (four per weapon) headed off over the weekend thanks again to Beazley’s support. With no less than nine fencers having made a final at a cadet international tournament this season, medal hopes are high.