Young fencers shine in international debuts
Truro’s young fencers took to the international stage this weekend in the annual Wratislavia Sabre competition in Poland.
Truro Fencing Club sent eleven fencers who have dominated the British youth rankings this season. In the competition they came up against over 500 opponents from Russia, Romania, USA, Ukraine, Germany, Poland and many other leading fencing nations.
The most notable performance of the competition was from Henry Hurst, 10, who returned to Cornwall with a silver medal, after being placed second in the under 11 category. With 50 fencers from all over the world competing in his category, this was an outstanding showing from Henry in his first foreign event.
Head Truro Coach, Jon Salfield said: "Henry showed maturity and composure beyond his years, and took out some top-class fencers from the leading European fencing nations. This is a very promising start to his international career, and I'm sure just the first of many podium finishes".
Hurst battled through the pools, winning most of his first round matches, and was ranked in first position after the seeding round.
He made comfortable work of his opponents in the L32, L16 and L8 matches, before a tight match against the top Russian in the semis. Here Henry overturned a 6-2 deficit to win 8-6 and make the final. He faced American fencer Stephen Kim, 10, who fencers at the Manhattan Fencing Center, New York for the gold. Hurst could not quite find the timing and rhythm he showed in the early rounds and lost out to Kim 8-4.
Another promising Truro result came from Bertie Holdsworth, 12, in the Under 13 category.
Holdsworth, who is the number one ranked British youngster for his age, had a difficult start to the competition, being ranked 54th after the first round. However, through a handful of determined and intelligent knock-out fights Holdsworth managed to overturn his initial low ranking finally winning through to the quarter finals, and being placed in 6th position, just missing out on a medal in a field of 114 internationals.
In the girls’ competition, Truro’s Caitlin Maxwell, 13, represented England for the first time in the Under 15 category. She started strongly and won through to the L16 round, but lost out to the number 1 ranked fencer Kira Eifler from Germany, and was placed 16th.
The competition allowed Truro Fencing Club to make its mark on the international scene, once again proving the quality of its young squad.
Salfield said: “We are pleased with these three strong results, but also with the depth and promise of the squad. Millie Smith, Maria Chart and Jamie Craze
all made it into the L32 round, and some of our very youngest fencers showed great potential. Truro continues to produce the very best youngsters in Great Britain, and now we are competitive with Europe's best".
The club is now looking forward to next week’s action as Truro fencers William Deary and Yvonne Chart are set to compete at the Cadet World Championships in Croatia for Great Britain.
Truro squad at the Wratislawa International:
U11 boys - Henry Hurst
U13 boys - Luke Haynes, Sam Boorne
U15 boys - Jamei Craze, Alex Boote, Sam Hunkin
U13 girls - Keeley Rodda, Maia Fashokun
U15 girls - Caitlin Maxwell, Maria Chart, Millie Smith
Article by Michael Clarke.
Many more photos can be found HERE, by courtesy of Simon Holdsworth