View Full Version : World Champs 2009 review

-8th October 2009, 14:21
So now that the champs are over and the guys and girls are on their way back, what do people think of the results? and what (if anything) needs to be done?

Looking at the results in black and white, for me they are disappointing compared to expectations, good early work in the poules for many fencers was undone by unlucky draws or below par performances in the DE's. As teams went, yet again only the mens foil seemed genuignley competitive for a medal.

While this is undoubtably a slight improvement on previous years when you consider the money that has been invested into our top level fencers over the past 3 years, it seems that only mens foil is able to consistently provide world level results. The other weapons show limited improvement. Whether this is the fault of the fencers or the coaches/PD is something that does need to be looked at, as comments like:

'PD4BF: British team gelled well as a unit and general standard has improved as evidenced by so many poule wins and L64s

PD4BF: But whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger and I feel that many important lessons have been learned'

may be true but seem a little hollow after 3 years of significant investment. What lessons need to be learned? exactly what about top level international fencing still comes as a suprise to us? and apart from in mens foil has the standard really improved? poule results are all well and good but as all of us know getting out of the poule with a decent seeding is often the easy bit. We didn't actually win many DE fights in the rounds that counted (also lets not forget that quite a few of those 64's came in 2 weapons with entries under 80!)

With 3 years to go before the Olympics we had better learn our lessons PDQ, I have always maintained that the current system as it is set up does not work well for epee, I also think that outside mens foil we don't really have a successful performance plan for fencers. Many of our decent results from the other weapons have come from performances from individuals who are often completely or mostly outside the BFA performance pathways. Of course mens foil is a huge success and credit to the BFA the coaches and the fencers for what they have achieved, but we have 6 disciplines in fencing not just 1 and all have been invested in over the past few years.

I know this sounds like a rant, but I genuignly want our fencers to have the best chance they possibly can have to do well at the Olympics and in the events leading up to them, when they underperform then they will and do carry the can, but strangely none of the coaches or PD ever seems to take the slightest bit of responsibility for the poor results that some of the weapons are getting.

-8th October 2009, 14:43
Some really good results in the poules- but unfortunately poules are irrelevant to the Olympics.

It was not disasterous; encouraging performance from C. Lawrence, Hutch fenced well against the winner, Cadmen's L64 was solid, MFT are now undeniably world class. Overall, however, the picture is a tiny bit disappointing- especially on the mental side of things.

You have to say that MF remains our only chance in 2012.

-8th October 2009, 21:26
I think if we are looking forward and trying to improve as a nation

it's not a very good idea to
cut the funding and drop from the team
a world class and the top British ranked epeeist is it.

Adam Blight
-9th October 2009, 21:37
Hi all

I got back from Antalia earlier this week. I watched the British men's foil bouts and it was a disapointment to see the outcome after such a good start, Jamie had a very strong opponent and I didn't manage to see his last bout so I can't coment but the other three all got into situations where they really needed to get fired up and they didn't seem to be able to find it. A real shame, especialy when I saw so many fencers from other nations drawing on their passion and desire to achieve results.

Iris Rau, who I was there with, could have done much better, everthing was in place, she was technically up up to the standard, fit and strong enough, she hadn't managed to get a nights sleep and was dog tired. Also, I was suprised to see the referee in her pool making so many wrong decisions, Martina, who was in the same pool comented on this. For some reason, although they used video for the men's pools, they didn't for the women's. Iris should clearly have won her last fight.

I was watching closely a lot of the women's foil bouts from Asian fencers with the Asian Championships coming. I was very impressed with the Koreans. it did seem to me that there were many times when despite video replay crusial decisions went the way of a European when they were fencing an Asian fencer. Of course this used to be a lot more of a problem. There is a lot of variation in how refs use the video ranging from those who refer to it all the time to others who only do so when requested and then don't change. It has also changed some of the fencing with some fencers maintaining closer distances in order to minimise the preparation.

I took a lot of video, including lots of fencing lessons as well as bouts, if anyone wants copies, just let me know.

Adam Blight

-9th October 2009, 23:18
Hi all

For some reason, although they used video for the men's pools, they didn't for the women's.

Adam Blight

Nope. False.

-9th October 2009, 23:40
"good early work in the poules for many fencers was undone by unlucky draws"

If luck or random chance is the only factor it will even out over a statistically viable sample; minimum 10, preferably 20+ competitions. If it doesn't, then something else is consistently affecting the results.

Adam Blight
-10th October 2009, 12:45
Hi again

On the pool I was watching, which contained Martina and Iris, they didn't have video replay. I can't speak for all the other pools but it would clearly not be right to use it for some and not others.


-10th October 2009, 16:37
Then rest assured because there was no replay until day 2 in any event.

-10th October 2009, 17:14
Except sabre

Adam Blight
-10th October 2009, 19:02
Hi all

Men's foil poules were the day before women's foil and used video and women's foil poules did not. I am guessing some sort of technical problems maybe (??). there were many other technical problems, especialy with those events which used the radio controled system, which on a few occasions reverted to using spools.


-10th October 2009, 20:23
This is pretty much what Graham Watts was saying on Twitter