The men’s sabreurs continue their attempts to qualify for the Olympic Games in Plovdiv during the first weekend of February with the women starting a week later in Orleans. They both have two World Cups (team and individual) and two Grand Prix events (individual only) to go before the automatic qualification spots are established. Then one male and one female fencer will be selected by the Performance Team to compete at the European Zonal Qualifier in Slovakia in April.
British Fencing currently supports just one male sabreur, James Honeybone and three female sabreurs, namely Louise Bond-Williams, Chrystall Nicoll and Sophie Williams, through the UK Sport funded World Class Programme. James and Sophie are still in their first full year of competing at Senior level and are currently ranked, 76thand 75thin the World respectively. They are both very much seen as 2016 hopefuls but would relish the opportunity of competing in London. The 2012 focus will be on Louise and Chrystall who are currently ranked 47thand 37thin the World. If either of them or even both of them are in the top 16 by the end of March then they are all but certain of qualifying for 2012 automatically.
The good news for us at home is that one of the women’s qualifying events is in London at Crystal Palace so we’ll get to see and cheer on our team ahead of the Games. The England Trophy (supported by Beazley) is taking place on the weekend of 22-24 February and we’ll update you on how to attend in the near future.
The events are:-
1. 4-5 February: Plovdiv Grand Prix
2. 17-19 February: Padoua World Cup
3. 3-4 March: Budapest Grand Prix
4. 16-18 March: Moscow World Cup
1. 10-11 February: Orleans Grand Prix
2. 24-26 February: London World Cup
3. 9-11 March: Antalya World Cup
4. 17-18 March: Moscow Grand Prix