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Keith.A.Smith
-18th April 2004, 17:33
Congratulations to Louise Bond-Williams and Richard Kruse on qualifying for the Olympics. Louyise destroyed Siobhan Byrne in the semi finals to qualify and then just lost 15-14 to Nagy of Hungary in the final. Richard delighted us all by massacring Kourak of Belorussia in the semi finals to qualify and then stunned the audience in the final as he easily won against Schlosser of Austria.

Many congratulations to them both and to their coaches, Vladimir Nazlymov and Ziemek Wojiechowski.

With the new FIE qualification system getting two qualified is a real achievement. James Williams lost to Snajder of Poland in the semi finals and then to Bauer of Germ,any in the third place fight off and so failed on this occasion to qualify.

I had to run the competition and was very proud of our fencers.

Keith

natsgrant
-18th April 2004, 17:44
Go the Brits!

Now even more reason to turn up at Dejan and Katarina's (in the middle of the night?) to watch EuroSport.

Huge congratulations to them both.

uk_45
-18th April 2004, 18:07
Congrats to both

Tarmac
-18th April 2004, 18:11
Excellent work!
Lets hope they put up a damn good fight in the Olympics... wel'll be right behind them!
shall we all sing Jerusalem now then?

uk_45
-18th April 2004, 18:13
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand

doobarz
-18th April 2004, 18:36
Someone was texting results over to us at the Winton, was all very exciting. Congratulations guys.

aao
-18th April 2004, 18:44
Well we’re back and what a competition it was! Firstly massive congratulations to both Louise and Richard for their great performances in qualifying for Athens, both fenced unbelievably well and their respective 15-4 victories in their semi final (Olympic qualification) matches is in no way a reflection on the weakness of their opponents but instead a reflection of just how well they fenced to make very tough opponents look so easy. They both fully deserve their places, and yet again showed what truly world class fencers they are.
Nobody who has the opportunity to go to this competition in the future should be under any illusions, this is a competition quite unlike any other, and is far harder than any A-grade, World or European championship, for the first time fencers are competing for a prize which, if asked, most would value above anything else, the chance to go to the Olympics, and from the very first hit you can tell how much pressure they are under and how much they want to succeed.

How did I get on?, well as suspected it was not to be, the mens epee was incredibly tough with 6 out of the worlds top 12 there and virtually all the rest competitors in the top50-100 of the world. There were 4 poules of 6, and to give you an example of the strength of the comp, if my poule had been an A-grade it would have had a niff of 110!.I could only manage to win 1 out of my 5 fights, and while in the past at some A-grades I have felt that I could and should have done better, this time I can honestly say without any shame that I fenced the best I could and was just outclassed by some top world class fencers (e.g. Van lecke, kaaberma and motyka) 1 victory was never going to be enough with 30% being knocked out and I along with 5 others was knocked out after the poules,
Tom didn’t have the best of times either with an equally hard poule and he wasn’t quite fencing on top form, he won 2 in the poule (narrowly losing the others) and then went out in the 32 to a very good kourfal (who lost very narrowly to the 2nd seed Kaberma in the next round). The epee competition was by far the toughest in the comp and I don’t think either me or tom can look back with too many regrets bearing in mind that 4 of the top 10 in the world didn’t get through either and Fischer (world number 3) scraped into the olympics, in a great fight with the Spaniard having been 14-12 down with 6 seconds to go! (my heart goes out to the Spaniard who must be having nightmares about how close he came!)

The rest, well James W wasn’t really on form either, he scraped past the Turkish junior champ 15-14 in the last 8 (a slightly controversial fight but James on balance probably deserved it….just). but got knocked out in the semi and finished up 4th. The womens epee was yet again very tough with Geogina unfortunately being knocked out in the L16 and Eloise lost in the last 8 (I can’t comment to much on their matches as I was able to catch much of their fights but both went out in close fights to top opponents.


A final reflection (and many apologies for the long posting), I really am very grateful to the Turkish federation for sending me, and am glad I got to experience this comp as it really brought into context exactly how good you have to be to be able to go to the Olympics,. Good luck to all those who qualified whatever country you’re from, you deserve it, and for those brits who have decided to retire after this comp you will be sorely missed. Finally for those of you who are looking to do this comp in 4 years time, train hard train very very hard because it will be the toughest challenge you will ever face in your fencing careers.

colliebeast
-18th April 2004, 22:07
/MEGA!!!
there was so much excitment at the winton! but when we spoke to lou she was dead calm grrrrrrrrrrrr to have such contol!!!

GrahamWatts
-19th April 2004, 09:46
The only thing I would like to add to Keith's earlier posting is how excellent the whole team spirit in Ghent was.

We took a team of 16 people, including 4 coaches, 3 sparring partners and a physio and everyone was immensely focussed on making sure that we came away with the maximum possible success. In particular, it was impressive to me that the two qualifying fencers competed in ths last two events and their four team-mates had already been knocked out and yet all four - and their coaches and sparring partners - overrode their disappointment and stayed on to support Louise and Richard. The British contingent made quite a noise in the Finals hall!

I would like to publicly acknowledge the support of the whole team:

Fencers Louise Bond-Williams, Tom Cadman, Richard Kruse, Eloise Smith, Georgina Usher & James Williams
Chef de Delegation Keith Smith
Team Manager Graham Watts
Coaches Peter Frohlich, Bob Meshkov, Vladimir Nazlymov, Ziemek Wojciechowski
Physio Saskia Blair
Sparring Partners Debbie Catchpole, Jo Hutchison, Linda Strachan

Every one of the above played their part!

Also I would like to thank all the people back in Britain who were sending text messages of support - it was great to know that there were so many people rooting for us back here!

Finally, just to be LEGAL, we should be saying that Richard and Louise have been NOMINATED to the BOA for selection since only the BOA can select athletes for the Olympic Games and you can expect an official announcement in due course.

And as a last indulgence, have a look at the medal table!

GOLD SILVER BRONZE QUALS

GBR 1 1 0 2
ROM 1 1 0 2
BLR 1 1 0 2
POL 1 0 1 1
HUN 1 0 0 1
NED 1 0 0 1
AUT 0 1 0 1
ISR 0 1 0 1
SUI 0 1 0 1
GER 0 0 2 1
UKR 0 0 1 1
EST 0 0 1 0
ESP 0 0 1 0


There were around 30 countries competing.

Graham Watts (Team Manager)

PM1
-19th April 2004, 09:54
Thanks for that Graham - really informative.

Just let the BOA NOT select them and see what noise can be made, eh??

Well done everyone. More flag waving to come.

Marcos
-19th April 2004, 13:19
Originally posted by Keith.A.Smith
Congratulations to Louise Bond-Williams and Richard Kruse on qualifying for the Olympics. Louise destroyed Siobhan Byrne in the semi finals to qualify

bugger

well done to LBW - Siobhan went on to lose her 3rd place play-off also so missed out - looks like the training in USA has served LBW well

Mantis
-19th April 2004, 15:02
Congratulations to both. Now, what chance is there that the fencing salle in Athens will be ready in time. :grin:


Originally posted by PM1
Just let the BOA NOT select them and see what noise can be made, eh??

Call me igorant, but what is the BOA? Apart from a type of snake?

Boo Boo
-19th April 2004, 15:25
Originally posted by Mantis
Call me igorant, but what is the BOA? Apart from a type of snake?

British Olympic Association ;)

PM1
-19th April 2004, 16:00
Cheers Boo - I'd have said "British Olympic thingy"......

GrahamWatts
-19th April 2004, 16:08
BRITISH OLYMPIC ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCE FENCING ATHLETES TO COMPETE FOR TEAM GB AT THE ATHENS OLYMPIC GAMES

The British Olympic Association (BOA) today announced the selection of the following fencing athletes to compete for Team GB in this summer’s Athens Olympic Games, which begin on August 13.

Men:
Richard Kruse (Foil)

Women:
Louise Bond-Williams (Sabre)

Simon Clegg, the Chief Executive of the BOA and the Chef de Mission for Team GB at the Athens Olympic Games, said: “I am delighted to welcome these fencing athletes into Team GB for the Athens Olympic Games following their fine performances at the European Olympic Qualifying Event in Ghent, Belgium at the weekend. Richard’s Gold and Louise’s Silver medal ensure that we have some exciting prospects to watch out for in Athens.”

Graham Watts, Team Leader for the 2004 Olympic Games Athens Fencing squad added: “This is a fantastic achievement for British Fencing and for our two most talented fencers. Both Richard and Louise have made the Top 8 in the world championships within the last two years and they have the ability and experience to perform well at the Olympic Games. The qualification standards get tougher every Olympiad and we only had one fencer in a seeded position to qualify and so to achieve two places, with the added bonus of topping the medal table in Ghent is excellent.”

For more information contact Philip Pope (ext 233) or Becki Middleton (ext 215) in the BOA Media Office on 020 8871 2677 or Graham Watts at the BFA on 07710 057252 or Graham Morrison, the BFA Media Officer, on 07860 400071

PM1
-19th April 2004, 16:14
Well frankley, all I can say is :party: :party: :party: :party: :party: :party:
and good luck Richard and Louise !!!!!:mexwave:

kitten
-19th April 2004, 18:23
OOoooooooooooooOOOooooooooooooooooOOooooo...

and WOW!! That must be a dream come true!! Conrats to both, that's incredibly exciting.

Comiserations to the others, it sounds like things were pretty tense and very close.

Boo Boo
-19th April 2004, 20:55
Originally posted by Mantis
Congratulations to both. Now, what chance is there that the fencing salle in Athens will be ready in time. :grin:

It already is finished... :)

uk_45
-19th April 2004, 21:32
Wow well it may be a pure fencing Olympics, oh well not a bad thing!

Mantis
-19th April 2004, 22:31
Wonders will never cease! Even the BBC have noticed! See the report here. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/olympics_2004/3640391.stm)

doobarz
-19th April 2004, 22:44
Originally posted by Mantis
Wonders will never cease! Even the BBC have noticed! See the report here. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/olympics_2004/3640391.stm)

And only one error too.... Congratulations Graham on your new appointment...

rpryer
-19th April 2004, 22:53
As performance director, you could argue that Graham has headed the Olympic preparations - the BBC called him 'Britain's Olympic fencing chief' rather than 'Britain's fencing chief'.

At least it's publicity - I wonder if any of the papers will pick up on it tomorrow...

Rdb811
-20th April 2004, 00:21
Just be careful next time Keith buys a round....

GrahamWatts
-20th April 2004, 09:24
Originally posted by rpryer
As performance director, you could argue that Graham has headed the Olympic preparations - the BBC called him 'Britain's Olympic fencing chief' rather than 'Britain's fencing chief'.

At least it's publicity - I wonder if any of the papers will pick up on it tomorrow...

Our secret's out - have you ever seen me and Keith Smith together!?! Seriously, I am VERY happy for Keith to be the one described as CHIEF. It was quite amusing that he turned up in Ghent and two minutes later he was on the DT and a minute after that he was head of it! He was clearly born to be chief!

There is a small article in the Independent today and we are expecting more tomorrow.

Regards

Graham

Mantis
-20th April 2004, 09:38
Originally posted by GrahamWatts
Our secret's out - have you ever seen me and Keith Smith together!?!

:) :batman:

But who is who? :grin:

PM1
-20th April 2004, 09:44
....and I always thought it was Keith I was talking to/being drafted in to do things by/etc, and now I will nver know.......:rolleyes:

Arturo
-20th April 2004, 11:05
What happened to Halstead and Beevers? Were they not eligible for the qualification competition?

Has James Beevers stopped training/ competing? He seems to have bombed down the world rankings, which is quite surprising considering he was ranked 25th at one point.

Australian
-20th April 2004, 11:46
Originally posted by Arturo
What happened to Halstead and Beevers? Were they not eligible for the qualification competition?


can only send one fencer per country to the zonal qualifers...

colliebeast
-20th April 2004, 12:58
oh lovely!!!!

http://www.olympics.org.uk/teamgb/biogs_athens_teamlist.asp?SportNameId=9

uk_45
-20th April 2004, 15:52
Ok this graham and keith thing has my comfussed!

Keith.A.Smith
-20th April 2004, 20:32
Graham is our Olympic Fencing chief as apointed by another chief and his BFA Board.

I am realy glad that Richard and Louise are getting publicity.

Excellent news for all of us.

Keith

Insipiens
-21st April 2004, 17:15
Originally posted by colliebeast
oh lovely!!!!

http://www.olympics.org.uk/teamgb/biogs_athens_teamlist.asp?SportNameId=9

Nice Hair
:hairfire2

Still, he is the one on the olympic team, so I suppose he can have whatever hair cut he wants.:)

gbm
-25th April 2004, 11:43
British fencers in the Olympics is fantastic. We might even see them on daytime TV if they do well, and that could do a huge amount for British fencing!

uk_45
-25th April 2004, 11:45
I think theres more fencing than football!!!!

Yes at last the beeb see the way!!

gbm
-25th April 2004, 11:52
Seriously?

post 298 and counting...

Epeecurean
-26th April 2004, 12:02
Originally posted by Insipiens
Nice Hair
:hairfire2

Still, he is the one on the olympic team, so I suppose he can have whatever hair cut he wants.:)

& it's much better than this file picture of Richard:


http://www.foilcommittee.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/mugshots/103-0314_IMG.JPG

gbm
-26th April 2004, 20:06
:o

:tongue:

kingkenny
-21st May 2004, 10:04
http://www.leonpaul.com/news/team_results.htm