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GrahamWatts
-10th August 2004, 11:09
OLYMPIC REPORT NO 1

Hi - this is my first attempt at keeping people informed about what is happening here in Athens.

Richard (Kruse) and Louise (Bond-Williams) are currently in Barcelona at the Team GB Holding Camp* with Ziemek Wojciechowski and their sparring partners. Richard, Louise and Ziemek will leave to come to Athens tomorrow (11 August). I left yesterday to sort out all the preliminaries and I am posting this from inside the Olympic Village.

Prior to going to Barcelona, Richard attended a training camp in Portugal (with a number of other Olympic foilists and their sparring partners) and Louise attended a training camp in Italy with the Italian and US teams. Both are in good condition and raring to go!

The draw for the individual events will take place on 12 August at 1030 am (Greek time). At the moment, given the likely declared fencers, it looks as if Richard will receive a bye to the L32 where he will be paired with either Gomes (Portugal), whom he beat in the L32 of the 2003 World Championships or Wang (China) to whom he lost recently at the same stage in the Havana World Cup. Louise seems likely to be paired with either Koenig (Germany) or Orsolya Nagy (Hungary) who narrowly beat Louise 15/14 in the final of the recent European Olympic Qualifier. I HASTEN TO ADD HOWEVER THAT NONE OF THIS IS YET OFFICIAL SINCE THERE IS STILL TIME FOR LAST MINUTE CHANGES DUE TO INJURY - and there are some rumours of possible injuries floating around so we will have to wait and see what the draw brings on Thursday.

As I am sure you all know, Richard competes in the Mens Foil on Monday, 16 August and Louise in the Womens Sabre on the 17 August. The Olympic Fencing Tournament starts with the Mens Sabre individual event on Saturday (14 August).

If anyone has any good luck messages that they wish to send to Richard and Louise you can do so by faxing them to the British Olympic Association's HQ in Athens addressing them c/o Graham Watts, Team Leader on 00 30 210 0075 453.

I will try to provide some regular factual updates for the Forum BUT I regret that I won't be able to respond to individual questions or queries.

By the way, it is bloody hot here!!!!!!

Graham Watts
Team Leader, Fencing

Posted 2pm (Greek time) 10 August 2004

* You may be confused because you will have heard/read that the Team GB holding camp is in Cyprus. In fact, there are two and fencing is part of the Barcelona holding camp.

Keith.A.Smith
-10th August 2004, 11:54
Dear Graham,

Thanks for starting this news update from Athens. Looking forward to seeing you on Friday.

Give all our best wishes to Louise and Richard and also to Ziemek and Vladimir on their arrival in Athens. Tell them we are all rooting for them.

See you soon,

Keith

J_D
-10th August 2004, 12:06
Who have Richard and Louise taken along as sparring partners?

tigger
-10th August 2004, 13:36
Laurence H and Jojo Hutchison

srb
-10th August 2004, 13:58
Keith,

Do you know who pays for the support team, and sparring partners. Are they funded by Team GB, the BFA, themselves, or is it a bit of all of the above?

srb

J_D
-10th August 2004, 14:59
I trust the lesson of Plovdiv was well and truely learned.....

frog
-10th August 2004, 20:21
excuse me J_D but what really was the point of saying that?

Not really very important or relevant to the thread....

PM1
-10th August 2004, 21:50
Thanks, Graham...send them our best wishes and advise that good luck charms will be rubbed at all appropriate times!!!

bet they're glad they're not here....hot and WET!!!! with rain.....

enjoy Athens, you lucky lot.....:)

randomsabreur
-10th August 2004, 22:32
Good luck to Louise and Richard

Will be rooting for them and following the events as best as I can

Hassan
-12th August 2004, 10:29
Tableaux now up at:

Mens'Foil

http://www.athens2004.com/fr/FencingMen/results?rsc=FEM001M00&frag=FEM001000_C75I

Women's Sabre

http://www.athens2004.com/fr/FencingWomen/results?rsc=FEW003W00&frag=FEW003000_C75I

colliebeast
-12th August 2004, 12:41
Louise has reached the headdy heights of having her name printed in.... METRO woo woo
Pg28

hokers
-12th August 2004, 13:58
Richard was in the Sun on saturday (name only) as a medal prospect.
Louise was in the Times' awful guide to the events the same day, under Men's sabre for some reason, no mention of Richard at all. Several other factual errors in one paragraph...

Australian
-12th August 2004, 14:36
Originally posted by hokers
Richard was in the Sun on saturday (name only) as a medal prospect.

thats a big call.... he's up against Haibin Wang in the L32, who has 3 world cup medals this season, and 9th seed. Assuming he wins that, he'd likely get the 8th seed, Cedric Gohy, ranked 7th in the world... and even if he was fortunante enough to get that far, the world number one, Andrea Cassara, would probably await. And this is all to get a non color specific medal.

Not meaning to dampen anyones spirits.... but a medal for any british (or australian) fencer is very unlikely

Gav
-12th August 2004, 14:45
Originally posted by Australian
thats a big call.... he's up against Haibin Wang in the L32, who has 3 world cup medals this season, and 9th seed. Assuming he wins that, he'd likely get the 8th seed, Cedric Gohy, ranked 7th in the world... and even if he was fortunante enough to get that far, the world number one, Andrea Cassara, would probably await. And this is all to get a non color specific medal.

Not meaning to dampen anyones spirits.... but a medal for any british (or australian) fencer is very unlikely

Especially as Seamus has pulled Kolobkov...

Australian
-12th August 2004, 15:05
Originally posted by Gav
Especially as Seamus has pulled Kolobkov...

tell me about it :(

natsgrant
-12th August 2004, 15:18
Thanks Graham!

tigger
-12th August 2004, 15:52
Not a bad draw for LBW in R1. Koenig is very beatable. Netchaeva awaits in the L16 tho.

GrahamWatts
-12th August 2004, 19:47
OLYMPIC REPORT 2

Hello Again from Athens!

Richard and Louise have arrived safely and although they have only been here for a day it already seems like much longer. We are all very impressed by the positive efficiency of the BOA (British Olympic Association) which is quite a remarkable machine!

As others have already pointed out the draw was made earlier today at the Finals Hall of the Olympic Fencing Venue. Richard has drawn WANG (CHN) in his first bout (L32 - he has a bye through the first phase) with either GOHY (BEL) or KELLNER (USA) in the next round and potentially CASSARA (ITA) in the L8 - Richard beat Cassara to win the Junior European Championships a couple of years ago so let us hope he gets another chance against him on Monday. It is a tough draw but Richard is confident and in good shape - there are no easy first fights around unless you happen to be No 1 or 2 seed!

Louise has drawn KOENIG (GER) whom she beat in the L16 of the World Championships in 2002 and if she progresses this time she will have NETCHAEVA (RUS) in the L16.

We are told that the Opening Ceremony is likely to be a very special ceremony and so do look out for the Team GB contingent. Given how hard it was to qualify even to be here, I'm very proud of Richard and Louise achievement in getting here and I hope the Brits reading this are too!

Thanks for all the positive comments on these pages - Richard and Louise are aware of them and it is good to know that there are some people back in GB rooting for them.

It is also worth noting that Jessica Beer (who currently lives in Leicester) is out here representing New Zealand at Womens Epee and she has been here training hard in the Village since early August. I am sure that she has many friends back in the UK who wish her well too.

Best wishes

Graham Watts

frog
-13th August 2004, 12:46
Australian how can you be so pessimistic. Richard may not be a medal hopeful to you but while you are in the UK its probably expected that you dont slag off a Team GB fencer on the forum where there are people who are 100% behind richard. Im sure richard would be really confident if he read that post knowing that there are people at home that are not behind him....think about it.

Cheetara
-13th August 2004, 12:53
Thanks for all the positive comments on these pages - Richard and Louise are aware of them and it is good to know that there are some people back in GB rooting for them.


Lots of people I think, good luck to them both.

SarahRhiannon
-13th August 2004, 13:22
As I have no Irish fencers to cheer for, i'll be cheering for them. Loads of luck.

Australian
-13th August 2004, 15:46
Originally posted by frog
Australian how can you be so pessimistic. Richard may not be a medal hopeful to you but while you are in the UK its probably expected that you dont slag off a Team GB fencer on the forum where there are people who are 100% behind richard. Im sure richard would be really confident if he read that post knowing that there are people at home that are not behind him....think about it.

not slagging off, i'm just disagreeing with those who say he has a good medal chance. I'm allowed to express my opinion on the issue. The australian doing the mens foil has a harder draw than Richard, so i understand the position he/britain is in.

Its the same with all the minor fencing countries going to the games, we are going to have to do something exceptional to earn a medal, i don't think placing unrealistic expectations on them is a good thing.

I'd be damn happy with a L32 at the olympics.... wouldn't you?

gbm
-13th August 2004, 15:55
But you aren't ruling it out though, are you. Our fencers may not have 'good' chances, at least at the bookies, but they definitely have a chance, and not a minute one either.
I would of course be ashamed of 'merely' a L32 at the Olympics alongside such prestigous accolades as joint 3rd U18 BYC Welsh Qualifier (out of 4), and 26th at the Wrexham Open...

Australian
-13th August 2004, 16:00
I think Kruse is on the same as Bartolillo (aus) at 150-1...

i mean, support them, i certainly will for frankie, but see it as an opportunity of a lifetime, and be happy for them to have got this far

gbm
-13th August 2004, 16:04
Originally posted by Australian
I think Kruse is on the same as Bartolillo (aus) at 150-1...

Is that to win or to get a medal? It doesn't mean anything though, you yourself have said Richard has a better draw than Bartolillo (assuming he is the Australian you were talking about earlier).

Australian
-13th August 2004, 16:08
Originally posted by goodbadandme
Is that to win or to get a medal? It doesn't mean anything though, you yourself have said Richard has a better draw than Bartolillo (assuming he is the Australian you were talking about earlier).

think that was for the win... you are right, it means nothing and was probably compiled by non fencers based on their seeds. But if any of them get past their first round they should be very happy with themselves, mind you they should be anyway for qualifing for such an important event.

Mind you, australia's best chance is with Evelyn Halls (WE), who has a easier L32 DE, but meets Nisma in the L16 assuming they both win. :upset:

Robert
-13th August 2004, 18:00
Originally posted by Australian
not slagging off, i'm just disagreeing with those who say he has a good medal chance.

Don't worry Dave, I got exactly the same response. In general people (or at least the Brits) prefer to be very optimistic, rather than say 'no pressure, anything beyond this is a bonus'.

Robert

thedoc
-13th August 2004, 21:40
i genuinely think it is better to go in with an attitude of 'yes i can do this' rather than 'well, i'll give it a go'. it's only a little thing but at the top level it can make all the difference.

they did very well to get there,even if they have a 'mare and go out straight away, there will be no recrimination from me. that attitude is for the sun readers amongst us...

Total_Fencing
-13th August 2004, 21:51
Being a small country is in no way a barrier.

And I think it's unfair to start telling everybody what our/their (whoever 'they' may be) chances are before a single blade has been crossed.

Shouldn't we just be supportive in general and hope for the best? Otherwise, what's the point, really?

reposte
-14th August 2004, 02:22
but while you are in the UK its probably expected that you dont slag off a Team GB fencer on the forum where there are people who are 100% behind richard

As someone who has attended this forum practically from day 1, this forum has enjoyed the benefit of knowledge and participation of people from Germany, Canada, the U.S, Austria and Kroatia.

No one ows you any allegiance and everyone is entitled to an opinion.

I myself enquired after Kruise's style seeing I never met him and wanted to know who was the lad that knocked out Or in the Olympic qualifications, and was told that whilst he may be a very strong fencer, he isn't exactly a magic touch fencer.
Australian is entitled to his opinion even if he chose to express it in far greater determination than he had already applied.

Kruise got in the last minute at the qualifiers at Gent, I think Or paved the way for him, and I know that Or had a particularly bad day in midst of a hellish season, so people can doubt Kruise's chances of success with reason.
That said, there is no wrong in wishing the U.K users of this forum a little contentment and "Nukhes" and best of luck!

Boo Boo
-14th August 2004, 05:54
Nice to see Louise, Richard and Graham in the British contingent to parade around the stadium during the opening ceremony today.

Best wishes to Louise and Richard this week: they have both had some excellent results in the past, I hope that this week sees them on form to repeat those successes.

Hope that JoJo is having a great time (and using this as a rehearsal for competing in the 2008 Olympics :) ).

Boo

tigger
-14th August 2004, 09:31
Kruise got in the last minute at the qualifiers at Gent, I think Or paved the way for him, and I know that Or had a particularly bad day in midst of a hellish season,

Very kind of Tomer!!! I thought Richard beat him in the L8, and then went on to win the L4 and the final as well. Quality bit of paving there from Or...

I think one of the problems British sport in general has is low expectation. Pressure can be good, and produce the best from good competitors.

Rdb811
-14th August 2004, 12:58
Originally posted by reposte
As someone who has attended this forum practically from day 1, this forum has enjoyed the benefit of knowledge and participation of people from Germany, Canada, the U.S, Austria and Kroatia.

No one ows you any allegiance and everyone is entitled to an opinion.


Yes, but ......

Something to do with good manners and sportsmanship - don't knock others.

I hope none of the athletes suffer from cordite poisoning after the pyrotechics.

Good luck to all.

reposte
-14th August 2004, 17:50
Very kind of Tomer!!! I thought Richard beat him in the L8

Or has been top 5 at his best and was in abouts the top ten for the better part of two seasons. Junior WC, Budapest W cup winner, several bronze at Wc events.
I didn't say Tomer gave him the fight, I said myself he had an abysmal season.

As for RDB's comment, well it's not really my fight so best to leave it at that...
Good luck all.

reposte
-14th August 2004, 17:54
I better explain further:

at his top shape, Or (I personally feel, you are by no means obliged to agree) presented the toughest opposition to Kruise.
By removing him - his way was a lot clearer.
That's all, let's not argue, Olympic peace's a Mitzvah.

dunastor
-14th August 2004, 18:13
Originally posted by reposte
Olympic peace's a Mitzvah.


A what?!??!?!?!?!

hokers
-14th August 2004, 23:42
This isn't the place to argue about optimism, pessimism or people's right to their opinion, lets take that elsewhere on the forum.

If anyone connected with the British Team reads this, please pass on our support to the fencers, and wish them luck on our behalf. We believe.

:)

PM1
-15th August 2004, 11:38
I second Hoker's view....go frit !!!!:cool:

gbm
-15th August 2004, 11:41
I believe. :)

frog
-15th August 2004, 19:49
Originally posted by goodbadandme
I believe. :)

and so we all should!!

aao
-15th August 2004, 21:32
Originally posted by reposte
I better explain further:

at his top shape, Or (I personally feel, you are by no means obliged to agree) presented the toughest opposition to Kruise.
By removing him - his way was a lot clearer.
That's all, let's not argue, Olympic peace's a Mitzvah.

Having actually been there and watched all of Richards fights, i can quite assure you that NONE of the opponents at that competition were even remotely easy, Richard fenced brilliantly all day to qualify and his fight against Or was enthralling to watch with the balance of the fight changing consitantly right until the end (i might be not have the scores exactly right but Or was around 11-8 up at one point and Richard stormed back).
The semi-final fight was made to look easy by Richard, it wasn't!
Added to that please remember the intense pressure all the competitors at that comp were under, you make the final you're at the Olympics you lose and thats it for another 4 years, no FIE points to console yourself with for fencing 'well'
Richard is a world class fencer and has proved it at a number of competitions, I wish him the best of luck at the Olympics (and Louise too) and while its not going to be easy, he has a chance, and thats considerably more than 99.9% of the fencers in the world!.

reposte
-16th August 2004, 00:37
Richard is a world class fencer

Never said he wasn't.
He can be a world class fencer and be relatively weaker then the competition he's facing at the Olympics (again, never saw him so can't tell) - and it is perfectly ok from a member here to say so and express an opinion that his chances are not high without being rebuked on account of British patriotism.
Chambers commented himself today that in the stocks he's low and that he had put some money on him with bad odds.
He also said that unfortunately we shan't be seeing him tomorrow even if he winns gold, seeing as Eurosport decided MF isn't important enough...

louisebw
-16th August 2004, 07:54
I just wanted to write a quick note to say thank you for all the support that me and Richard have been receiving from everyone back in Britain. It is all much apprciated.

I'm off to watch Richard now as he's starting in half an hour,

Louise Bond-Williams

PM1
-16th August 2004, 23:03
Good luck Louise, and well done Richard !!

I missed the three minutes of Richard at 4.35 on BBC, but am told he did brill and came last 8 - blimey !! Well done !!!

Go Louise!!

:)

J_D
-16th August 2004, 23:34
Yeah, Richard's result is impressive by any standard....well done there Laddie!

.....and Louise, thanks for finding the time to pop in here, it is appreciated!

All the best for your own competition, know that the UK is behind you :party:

GrahamWatts
-18th August 2004, 12:47
OLYMPIC REPORT NO 3

Hi again everyone - first of all, apologies for not posting a third report earlier and also for the fact that I have not yet had time to read the many other postings on the Olympic thread and so some of this information may be duplicated elsewhere.

As you will all already know, Richard Kruse reached the Last 8 in the Mens Foil event on 16 August and Louise Bond-Williams (or Williams-Bond according to the American announcer!) reached the Last 16 yesterday (17 August). In Barcelona (1992) Fiona MacIntosh reached the Last 8 in the Womens Foil from a British entry of 16 fencers but the next best result was a L32 and so I believe that this pair of results are the best results by British Fencing at the Olympic Games since 1964. Also, they match the L8/L16 achieved by Richard/Louise at the 2003 World Championships and they give us the third successive L8 result at this level - not bad since the last time anyone reached the L8 before Louise (2002) was Fiona (1992) and one has to go back to the early 80s for the previous result at this level.

So that is the context, what about the specifics?

As everyone knew, Richard had a very tough draw against the immensely experienced Paris-based Wang Haibin (China) and yet it would have been easy to believe that Richard (at more or less ten years younger) was the more experienced fencer since he dominated the fight from the off. The refereeing by Kielpikowski was absolutely spot-on. Wang had so much difficulty protecting his shoulder from Richard's devastating attacks that he twice went over the back line, giving easy hits away. It was a very composed performance from Richard who took control with three quick hits after the rest period to close out with a 15-11 win.

Unexpectedly, Dan Kellner (USA) beat Gohy (Belgium) to become Richard's next opponent which meant some quick re-assessing for Richard. The American had some immensely vocal support but this was equally matched by a vociferous and colourful British contingent (thanks Debs and George - although the Union Jack thongs were possibly a touch too much jingoistic detail!). Kellner was a much tougher opponent than we had anticipated and he deserved to lead through most of the fight which was a see-saw between Richard's counter-attacks into preparation and Kellner's long attacks, but at 12-14 down, Richard suddenly found three successive one light hits to win narrowly.

In the Quarter-Finals, Cassara raced to a big lead with a combination of long attacks and spring-like immediate remises, his point always threatening and inhibiting Richard's fast attacks. However, Richard fought back well in the middle of the bout, mostly with good counter-offensive actions, but Cassara re-asserted himself at the end to win with quite a few hits to spare.

Louise also started very well with an excellent win over Koenig (Germany) in the L32. Louise took the lead with a trademark attack into preparation and was never led for the whole fight, scoring with a range of hits from attacks, ripostes and tempo actions, although Koenig fought back with some late hits, Louise won at 15/13. Again, excellent and consistent refereeing from Virgilio - the standard of refereeing out here has generally been good although - as always - there have been the occasional moments where decisions have been hard to understand! Thankfully none involving British fencers.

Louise also started the next fight against Netchaeva very well and quickly led 7/3 with a varied mixture of hits - the next hit was key to get to the minute's break with a good lead but the Russian certainly improved her performance and scored the next 5 hits to lead 8/7 at the break, mainly catching Louise with attacks into her preparation. The fight continued in much the same vein and Louise was unable to get back on top. Netchaeva ran out the winner at 15/12. Netchaeva herself was then beaten easily by Tan. I felt that Louise could have reached at least the quarter finals in at least two of the other quarters - it was a shame that she found herself in a quarter with two of the best fencers in the draw.

A fantastic effort by Louise and Richard but not quite good enough for the medal zones. However, it is worth remembering that both knocked out much higher-ranked fencers in their opening fights and there are many great fencers out here who are going home having lost their won and only bout.

Time is up but hope that this report helps to fill out any gaps in the coverage back home.

On behalf of both Richard and Louise I would like to thank all of those back in British Fencing who have offered messages of support and best wishes and particularly to the many people who came out here to support them in person - this has all been much appreciated


Graham Watts
Team Leader

haggis
-18th August 2004, 13:45
Graham

Thanks very much for finding the time to post these reports. They are greatly appreciated and informative (athough the details about Georgina and Debbie's undies I could probably have lived without). True there were no medals but as you rightly point out these were still the best Olympic performances for many years and I'm certainly looking forward to seeing Richard and Louise (and hopefully others) making a push for medals in Beijing.

Regards

Haggis

hokers
-18th August 2004, 14:18
On a slightly lighter note:


Originally posted by GrahamWatts
OLYMPIC REPORT NO 3
(thanks Debs and George - although the Union Jack thongs were possibly a touch too much jingoistic detail!).

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/hokers/needpics.gif


...which is a common forums joke before anyone takes it too seriously.

Thanks for the update Graham, good to hear some more detail on how it went :)