Name: Anna Bentley
Place of birth: Aberdeen
Current hometown: London
First senior international major event: June 2007
Best international result:13th at Senior European Championships 2011
Is this your first Olympics?
How did you feel when the BFA contacted you to tell you that you had been selected for the GB Olympic fencing squad?
I had tried to imagine what it might feel like to be selected for the squad, but nothing prepared me for the moment. I was shaking when the phone rang, I felt unbelievably happy but also felt a massive sense of relief! it was difficult to take it all in.
Where were you when you were given the news?
I got the news when I was at home.
Who did you tell first?
The first person I told was my boyfriend who was standing in the room with me at the time, looking very nervous!
How do you feel to be representing Great Britain in your home country?
It’s always been my ambition to make the olympic team, but to have it in london makes it really special. I am really looking forward to having a home crowd behind the team as I really believe it will make a big difference and help us perform our best!
What aspect of being part of the Olympics are you most looking forward to?
I can’t wait to get to the olympic village and to be amongst all the athletes from so many different sports. I’m also looking forward to receiving the team GB kit!
What do you expect the atmosphere to be like?
With thousands of people watching the fencing the atmosphere will be electric! The spectators will be quite close to the action so I expect it to be very noisy! I really look forward to giving them something to cheer about!
What is your goal for the Olympics?
The team’s goal is to make the final. From there, anything can happen! Individually, I am targeting the top 16, but as I was selected as a member of the team, the team’s goal is my prority.
What will it be like staying in the athlete’s village?
Crazy, busy, distracting, exciting – a once in a lifetime experience!
Are there any Olympic sports which are known for having particularly rowdy / partying athletes in the village?
Not to my knowledge – although I’m sure anyone who wins a medal will be celebrating!
How is the team going to be preparing together over the summer?
We are in the GB holding camp at Loughborough 18 – 25 July and then we move to the Olympic Village. We are training hard with our sparring partners and working together as a team to prepare.
What will be your main area of focus in the build up to the Olympics?
We will focus on being at the peak of our own performance in terms of fencing sharpness and physical conditioning. We will also develop the tactical plans to beat the teams we expect to come up against.
Is your training routine going to change at all? How?
No it wont really change, we want to keep our training routine as normal as we can. We need to treat the preparation as if it were normal championships.
Is your diet going to change? What will it be?
With our nutritionist’s help, I have agreed to a nutrition and hydration plan which I will stick too. It is important not to fall into the trap of eating more than normal in the olympic village because all the food you can want is available 24/7, and absolutely free.
Do you have a special breakfast on the morning of a competition?
I have a competition breakfast, not because I’m superstitious but because I need to make sure I get enough energy to fuel myself for the long day ahead. I don’t like eating first thing in the morning so I usually find myself having to force myself to eat!
What will be key to your success on the day?
I think the key to our success will be through staying mentally calm, focused and having the desire to win.
Other than fencing, which sport are you looking forward to seeing most at the Olympics?
Great question! I hope to watch as much athletics as I can as many of my friends from Lee Valley (where we train) are competing. I also hope to see some of the gymnastics and cycling – also any of the canoeing and triathlon! I’ve grown up watching the olympics and if I were at home I’d be watching every minute of it!
What will be the Olympic legacy for fencing?
I hope that our performances at the olympic games, plus the increased media coverage we’re experiencing, will inspire more children to take up our sport in the UK. If we can encourage more children to take up fencing then this will benefit the british fencing team in the future. I also hope that the training programmes and methods we are currently benefitting from will influence how the next generation of fencers train and prepare, and recover from competition.