Truro Fencing Club’s young fencers dominated the British Youth Championships held at the Sheffield Arena. Truro brought home an amazing 11 medals, 4 of which were gold, the highest tally of any club in the UK.
Starting with the youngest sabre fencers, Bertie Holdsworth won the Under 12 event in style with a very confident 10:2 victory. Head and shoulders above the rest of the field, Holdsworth didn't concede more than 4 hits in any match throughout the day. A well-earned bronze medal was taken by young Henry Hurst, who at only just 10 years old put in a fearless performance and has 2 further seasons in this age group. In the Girls Under 12 event Maia Fashokun won an excellent silver medal. Maia’s teammates Annabel Eastwood took 6th place, Keely Rodda 12th and Molly Wood 14th.
Truro girls made a clean sweep in the Under 14 sabre event where Shreya Anil won gold and Caitlin Maxwell silver. Maria Chart won bronze after a close match of the highest quality against Shreya in the semi-final going all the way to 14:15. Millie Smith also continues to grow in experience and technique, just missing out on the medals and taking 5th place. Lily Wood put in a good performance in her first major event and took 24th place.
Sam Hunkin continued his strides forward, and had a great day, taking an excellent bronze medal in the boys Under 14 sabre event. Sam only just missed the final by one point, with a semi final score of 14:15. Jamie Craze got through to the last 8 where he lost out narrowly to the eventual winner.
Truro’s sabre squad continued to show its strength-in-depth in the girls Under 16 event, where 14 year old Kiera Sleeman, recently back from a top 20 finish at the Cadet World Championships in Moscow, won the gold medal. The boys also put in outstanding performances with 14-year-old Will Deary winning the gold medal with a convincing 15:8 victory. Josh Maxwell took a superb bronze medal , and is the club's most improved fencer over the last few months. Both Josh and Will have another year in the age group. Will Hosking took 9th place, but unfortunately Fraser Woodburn had to pull out after the last 32 round with a hamstring injury.
Truro’s foil and epee fencers also had a successful weekend. Yvonne Chart fenced her way to a terrific silver medal in the girls Under 16 event, and is now well established as one of the UK's top foilists. Phoenicia Rogerson took a commendable 22nd place in her first major national competition. Also fencing foil, talented youngster Eoghan Cromie fought strongly to take a place in the last 16 of the Under 12 boys in his first nationals.
In the Epee event Conal Cromie made the last 32 in the boys Under 14 category and Chris Harris and Charlie Dean made the last 16 and 32 respectively in the Under 16. Eoghan Cromie also took a well placed 15th in the Under 12s, and was the only Cornish fencer to qualify in 2 disciplines.
Congratulations and thanks were given by all the athletes to their superb coaching team,who put in so much hard work and effort to bring out the young fencers’ potential. In particular the lead coaches Chris Buxton (sabre), Kenichi Yamamoto (epee) and Paul Caine (Foil) can take great credit for the outstanding results.
The club's Head Coach Jon Salfield, speaking from the final round of Olympic qualifiers in Bologna, commented on the weekend’s results, "It's great to break the club medal record once again, and to repeat last year's feat of being the single most successful club at the championships, but what is more pleasing is the extraordinary quality of fencing displayed by this young squad. It's a testament to the commitment of both fencers and coaches, and I feel sure some of these youngsters are future Olympic stars".
Pictures curtesy of Dave Cromie.