View Full Version : Olympic Qualification

-23rd May 2011, 16:00
Does anyone actually know what the rules are for qualifying for the GB Olympic fencing team are?
Obviously this is not for me, but I am interested that with the qualifying events already up and runnning nobody actually seems to know what they have to do in order to get one of the 8 qualifying spots the BFA has to offer.

Are we planning on sending at least one fencer from each weapon? will qualifying be based on world ranking? i.e. the highest goes if they haven't qualified by right? or will the new PD/International committee decide based on some qualifying criteria of their own (if so could they publish them?)

I know semi officially we are planning to send 2 teams, and hopefully at least one of them will qualify by right, so lets say we have to award 4 places to the 2nd team, but for the other 4 places there really should be some clearly published guidelines so fencers can decide whether it is worth trying to go to the qulifying events.

Ronald Velden
-23rd May 2011, 16:25
There are rules posted on BFA website.

In case of the 8 discretionary places the rules are quite tough.

British Fencers selected for individual events must have reached a top 50 FIE ranking between 1.4.11 and 9.5.12 or be ranked in top 45 on 1.4.12.

The only exceptions to that rule appear to be if you have a specific reason not to have reached that level through for example injury or illness. However the FIE appear to have left the door open for those perceived to have potential. Presumably that would only apply to younger fencers who are prospects for 2016.

On this measurement very few British Fencers will make the standard for discretionary places let alone automatic qualification.

Ronald Velden
-23rd May 2011, 16:35
Sorry the starting date is 1.4.10 and not 1.4.11

-23rd May 2011, 17:28
Interesting, as you say I can't see that many British Fencers being in the top 50, but two things that come to mind:

1) As there seems to be no reason not to send 8 fencers (i.e. no restriction from the BOA or FIE) irrespective of ranking, would it not be in the best interests of the sport to send 8 fencers? (better publicity, better for marketing, better chance of getting a medal) We seem to have fencers capable of medalling at A-grade events who don't seem capable of maintaining that standard throughout the season, I would think we would be well served to have as many fencers in as possible.

2) Discretionary selection. Again we have this pop up, essentially if you're not in the top 50 of the world rankings the BFA will choose based on a range of criteria who goes. Even worse there is no appeal against their choices. Based on the evidence of the past where the BFA have got this wrong (and in fairness sometimes right), would it not be easier just to pick people based purely on their world ranking? I would be interested to know why world rankings aren't deemed a sufficient guide for selection.

Ronald Velden
-23rd May 2011, 21:15
On current performance levels there are perhaps only four or five British Fencers who have made top 50 in FIE rankings since
April 2010. Two are Richard and Laurence and the others come from Womens Sabre.

Looking at current rankings it seems highly unlikely that anyone else is going to achieve that level unless someone like Jonathon produces a Heidenheim.

There are two options, which are Britain goes down the Team route where the requirements are somewhat less strict and perhaps more achievable or they plump for the somewhat vague criteria of taking fencers with 'potential', which means presumably look beyond 2012 to fencers who might be around in 2016.

-23rd May 2011, 22:27
As I recall, Jon was ranked well inside the world top 50 for the last few years (even without funding)


so it's not just MF and WS

-24th May 2011, 10:15
True, and its a great achievement, but Jon has benefited from an amazing performance when winning Heidenheim, and a good choice of tournament when winning Kish. With the restructuring of the FIE season, and how tough the A-grades now are, it will be alot harder for him or anyone else to get back into the top 50.

-24th May 2011, 12:46
Its been pointed out to me that the post above comes out as being rather harsh on Jon. That wasn't the point I was trying to make at all, I was just trying to point out that expecting a top 50 world ranking in the current qualifying climate is going to be incredibly difficult even for someone who has won two A-grades, and that leaving it up to a dsicretionary IC panel to select people who haven't achieved this is a rather unfair method (and one which has previously led to alot of ill will). Why not just send the person with the highest world ranking in each weapon?

-24th May 2011, 13:15
Why not just send the person with the highest world ranking in each weapon?

But how will that make sure the LTFC epeeist and the Salle Paul foilist qualify?