Name: Richard Kruse
Where from: London
Where you live now: London
Began fencing aged: 10
How long have you been involved in the British Fencing athlete talent programme?
Since January 2007
How tough was selection to the new World Class Programme?
The testing day was very tough, lots of fitness & jumping tests
Were you confident that you would be chosen?
50:50. I thought I had a good chance of selection, but you never know until the day
How did it feel when you were told the news?
I was delighted. Having been a part of the set up for so long, I wasn't ready to give it up just yet
What does it mean for you now?
We were training hard before our selection into the World Class Programme, but now it’s a lot more professional
Do you have a job or school or university to fit in around fencing?
No, I am a full time fencer. I do it for the love of the game. If you’re in this game for the money though, then it’s a bad move!
What did your friends think when they found out that you had been selected to the World Class Programme?
I got a lot of positive reactions, they were all really pleased for me
Where is the best place that you have been with fencing?
The best has got to be Havana, Cuba
What is your goal for the next year and after that the next two years until 2016?
I would like to get back into the top 16 of the world ranking. Long term, I’d like to qualify for the 2016 Games
Did you fence at the London 2012 Olympics?
Yes, it was a fantastic event to be involved with, a real once-in-a-lifetime. It was great fun especially post competition in the Olympic Village
How has the British Fencing set-up changed in the last year or so?
There has been a lot of restructuring and a lot of changes behind the scenes in the performance management, the whole nutrition and S&C side of things, and general improvements in the training programme
Has more emphasis been put onto strength and conditioning, and nutrition?
There has definately been an increased empasis on S&C. I’m not the biggest fan of gym work but I do think the running has been beneficial to my fitness
Fencing is still considered a minority sport, how did you first get into it?
I first started fencing at a Saturday fencing club
Do any of your siblings or parents fence?
I am the only one of my family who fences!
What is the thing you enjoy most about fencing?
It’s like physical chess played at lightning fast speed. It’s a great mix of physical and mental challenges
How would you increase participation in fencing around the country?
Build more fencing centres, have more fencing coaches and make it available to more people
What do you think is key to being a successful fencer?
You need to be intelligent and sporty