British Youth Championship Fencing

Two young fencers flew the flag for Headington at the finals for the British Youth Championships Fencing.

Charlotte, U4, and Juliette, U6, were taking part in the event at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

For Charlotte, it was her first time in the event and she managed to qualify in all three weapons. She started with U14 Sabre, gaining a respectable result from poule round putting her in 20th overall position going into the Direct Eliminations. Here she came up against the 13th seed and Charlotte managed a very comfortable victory 15/6. But this meant she then had to face the fourth seed for a top eight medal. Charlotte finished a respectable 15th overall at this national level event.

After a challenging U14 Foil competition, facing an opponent ranked 20 places above her in Direct Elimination, Charlotte took on the U14 Epee with style. She won four out of six opening fights, standing in 17th position going into Direct Eliminations. Charlotte finished 20th overall.

Fencing coach Mrs Jenny Douglas said: “This was a big effort for Charlotte and considering she was attempting to fence three quite different weapons on three consecutive days, to nationally high standard, she made a very good showing against fencers who not only specialise in their weapon of choice but who are far more experienced at this level of competition.”

Juliette qualified for the U18 Foil, a big step up after previously taking part in the Public Schools’ Fencing Competition and the Foil qualifier for this event. Her poule round saw her up against GB Juniors, with Juliette focusing on improving accuracy and speed hit by hit.

She went into the Direct Eliminations facing an opponent ranked significantly higher than her and provided the audience with a really thrilling confrontation, with Juliette successfully putting into practice the things she had learnt from poule round. After an exciting match which saw both players take the lead, Juliette lost by one hit 15/14.

Mrs Douglas said: “Juliette was upbeat and really supportive of the other Southern Region fencers – and also of Charlotte, several of whose fights she came to watch between her own. She took her narrow defeat with great good grace.”