4th October 2011
At the GB squad preparation camp in Bath this weekend we spoke to Britain’s top fencer, 28-year-old Richard Kruse, ahead of the World Championships in Catania, Italy, which run 8 – 16 October.
In 2009 Kruse won silver at the European Championships as well as gold in the World Cup in Copenhagen and silver in the World Cup in Paris, ending the season ranked in fifth place.
He was affected by injury in 2010 but has shown his form this term by winning the Seoul World Cup, even if the European Championships in Sheffield didn’t exactly go to plan. Kruse faltered at the last-16 stage as Great Britain failed to perform on home soil – but he is feeling positive about the upcoming Worlds and also the Olympics.
“Preparations have been going very well. Training’s been harder than ever. In the last ten weeks we’ve pretty much doubled what we usually do,” said Kruse.
“I’ve been completely injury free. I’ve had niggles here and there but nothing serious. Being injury free obviously allows you to train a lot more.
“The Euros weren’t great and in fact the whole season hasn’t been very good this year. But I’m training harder now than when I had a good season in 2009.
“But the podium is my target in the Worlds. I’ve made every other result until the podium. I’ve made a top eight, top 16, top 32, top 64. Anything other than the podium will have been done before so that has to be my target.”
The World Championships will serve as the final major competition pre-cursor to next year’s Olympics.
“The Worlds are very important,” he added. “Obviously we’ve got some host nation qualifying places for the Olympics so it takes the pressure off but still I’d like to qualify properly and the World Championships is the biggest competition outside of the Olympics.
“I think I could make a more accurate prediction for London 2012 in two weeks’ time after the Worlds because that’s a good indication of what you can do in the Olympics.”
Kruse and his foil team mates Laurence Halsted, Ed Jefferies and Jamie Kenber will be in action in Sicily from 10 October.