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alien abductee
-10th October 2006, 22:44
So now that the World Championships in Turin are over we can look back at the GBR results and say... what exactly? 2 x Last 32 (Richard Kruse and Jo hutchison), lots of 64s plus others, two teams entered - mens foilistss finish 8th and girly sabreurs 12th. Good enough? not good enough? likely to make UKsport happy? likely ot mean more money for full-time training? less money? A cchange in selection policy?
Thoughts please.

Insipiens
-11th October 2006, 11:03
Some of the world's best fencers went out at the L64 stage in the world championships (see men's epee in particular) so it remains an achievement.

But at last year's WCs in Leipzig, the MF made a L16, L32 and two L64; this year the L16 effectively became a L64. Given that UK sport is going to be expecting continuous year on year improvement they will probably be disappointed with that result.

The L8 in the team is a good result - if we could match that in the international rankings it would qualify our team for the Olympics (except of course there may not be MF in the Beijing olympics).

JohnL
-11th October 2006, 12:36
Could do better!!

This thread should be titled, "Couldn't do much worse"

rory
-11th October 2006, 12:57
JohnL: helpful and insightful as always. My mother always taught me "if you haven't got anything nice to say, don't say anything at all".

All 4 MF making the 64 is a big deal, as is the L8 in the team event. We've got a bit of strength in depth now, which we haven't always had.

The question I'd like an answer to, however, is why does GBR (population : 60m) not get anywhere near the results achieved by other countries, or even some that are much, much smaller?

Like Canada (pop: 32m), France (pop: 60m) or Hungary (10 million!)

What are we missing, and how do we fix it?

Spider5
-11th October 2006, 13:20
JohnL's helpful, insightful (as always) comments aside, all 4 MF making the 64 is a big deal, as is the L8 in the team event. We've got a bit of strength in depth now, which we haven't always had.

Agreed. It's looking a lot better in MF than it has for a while. Hopefully these guys can spur each other on as they'll be competing for selection places.


The question I'd like an answer to, however, is why does GBR (population : 60m) not get anywhere near the results achieved by other countries, or even some that are much, much smaller?

Like Canada (pop: 32m), France (pop: 60m) or Hungary (10 million!)

What are we missing, and how do we fix it?

Lack of interest and familairity in mainstream culture. Whilst travelling last week I noticed a French Fella reading a mainstream French broadsheet sports newspaper (can't remember the name of it) with a two page spread devoted to the fencing WC. What mainstream sports publication in Britain would do that?

If you're a young lad or lass with world class sporting talent are you going to grind away at a technically complex minority sport with little or no money or recognition and no history of world class success in this country in the last 50 years or go for something where at least people know what it is even if there isn't much money in it?

It's not just fencing, tennis is far more popular in the UK and we're not very good at that either bar Henman and Murray in the last few years and they haven't won a major title yet. Athletics is another area of under performance and I would imagine UK sport would rather focus on that than a minority sport like fencing.

If you think of sports that are marginal in this country, in many cases people who have international aspirations are forced to train abroad to get quality coaching and competition on a regular basis. The only sports I can think of where foreign stars regularly come over here are football, rugby and cricket.

How to fix it? Well pimp and push fencing any where and every where at all levels. Local press, national press, international if they'll listen. I also think a lot of grass roots fencing clubs are woeful in that they have little capacity or enthusiasm for producing and retaining competitive fencers. Until more people who fence want to train hard and compete at any and all levels we'll be left with a few talented and committed individuals battling on to get L64's and L32's etc on the world scene with the possibility of something more to spur them on (European silver etc).

Baldric
-11th October 2006, 13:21
The question I'd like an answer to, however, is why does GBR (population : 60m) not get anywhere near the results achieved by other countries, or even some that are much, much smaller?

Like Canada (pop: 32m), France (pop: 60m) or Hungary (10 million!)

What are we missing, and how do we fix it?

Raw population is not much of an indicator, otherwise the Chinese would be able to beat Australia at cricket easily.

Surely it must be a function of the number of people involved in the sport, moderated by the amount of resources devoted to those people?

It is complicated a little more by the degree of control which the NGB has over the individuals. For example, the Chinese can coerce their sports people to a degree which would not be acceptable here.

Baldric.

PS - Haven't we been round and round these houses before?

JulianRose
-11th October 2006, 13:54
Raw population is not much of an indicator, otherwise the Chinese would be able to beat Australia at cricket easily.

Surely it must be a function of the number of people involved in the sport, moderated by the amount of resources devoted to those people?

It is complicated a little more by the degree of control which the NGB has over the individuals. For example, the Chinese can coerce their sports people to a degree which would not be acceptable here.

Baldric.

PS - Haven't we been round and round these houses before?

what's wrong with a bit of forceful coertion(sp?).

I think there is a problem in sport in the UK, which is starting to be addressed by the government in the lead up to 2012, but that this problem is one that has ben growing for some time (like about 20 years) due to lack of funding and interest from government. this can be seen in declining performance in many sports, athletics being a prime example, but fencing would fall into this catorgary as well.

there is also something in the british pschye that expects success. well success is not something to be expected, it is something that has to be earned through hard work, dedication, and comittment.

Spider5
-11th October 2006, 13:56
there is also something in the british pschye that expects success. well success is not something to be expected, it is something that has to be earned through hard work, dedication, and comittment.

........... As ably demonstrated by the England football team. Macedonia just didn't realise they were supposed to lose did they?

rory
-11th October 2006, 14:24
........... As ably demonstrated by the England football team. Macedonia just didn't realise they were supposed to lose did they?

See also: France 0 - 1 Scotland.

Arguably a bigger upset... England are known for screwing up, but France are generally pretty consistent :)

Spider5
-11th October 2006, 14:41
........but France are generally pretty consistent :)

Like in the World Cup Finals you mean? ;)

Baldric
-11th October 2006, 14:43
So now that the World Championships in Turin are over we can look back at the GBR results and say... what exactly? 2 x Last 32 (Richard Kruse and Jo hutchison), lots of 64s plus others, two teams entered - mens foilistss finish 8th and girly sabreurs 12th. Good enough? not good enough? likely to make UKsport happy? likely ot mean more money for full-time training? less money? A cchange in selection policy?
Thoughts please.

Going back to the original questions:



Good enough? not good enough?


It depends on what you mean. If you mean - is this the best that we ever hope to do, then no, not good enough.

However, I wasn't there, and I didn't see how the guys fenced. However, I have seen enough fencing to be careful of judging standards on one competition.



likely to make UK Sport happy?


No. However, I am sure that BF and UK sport have set targets on a longer timescale than this years WC.



Likely to mean more money for full time training? Less money?


No change. UKS have only just settled a figure on BF a few weeks ago. This is far too soon for it to have had an impact on performance last week.



A change in selection policy


I very much doubt it. Unless there is evidence that other fencers would have done better than those selected, why change the selection policy?

vivo
-11th October 2006, 14:45
In my view. the system is wrong which cannot provide the motivation to the fencers to at least stay in fencing. Some children who start to fence some are talented but somehow in England there are too many activies which divert the motivation of fencing from the children. We can find lots of young kids do too many sports. If someone would like to be good fencer, they need to be told to stay focus in fencing which it does not mean they cannot play other sports but they can in the leisure side. We many times lose the talented fencers to other sports giving them more motivation.
Fencing is the sport requiring training and this is another reason why fencing in UK cannot go anywhere. In France, German, Italy, etc, they fence everday 2-3 hours except weekend. We have one young guest fencer from German, he told that he fences everyday for 2 hours except Wed, Sat and Sun. In UK, we fence only once a week which means nothing. Moreover, the training in the club is not just free fencing, it is the time for practicing and doing exercise, footwork and fencing on the supervision and correction which we hardly see any in UK. Fencers do not know what is warm up until the coach says what they have to do but other nations fencers go to train when they were there they start warming up, doing footwork and combination without anyone shouting to them. Also, if we train as hard as other nations, I am sure lots of (young) fencers will stop fencing.
To achieve the best international result, the top fencers must train together as often as possible especially prior the competition. As we can see, the other nation fencing team are quite united but for UK it sounds like individual coming together as a group of UK fencers not the fencing team. In France, the national member of French fencers train together 4 days a week.

I do not want to criticise but it is what I can see and can see well that we are far from the international standard of fencing. I am sure we are trying to do the best but there are lots of factors in this country that inhibit us to be outstanding fencing nation. I wish we can be better but if it could be, lots of thing have to be done at the grass root. I would like to see some day our fencer can be on the podium but when?????

Gav
-11th October 2006, 15:09
Surely it must be a function of the number of people involved in the sport, moderated by the amount of resources devoted to those people?

Though it IS a complex issue, on terms of size, we supposedly have one of largest federations in the FIE.

Baldric
-11th October 2006, 15:17
We many times lose the talented fencers to other sports giving them more motivation.


Absolutely spot on. I have posted before the story of the fencing parent telling me that their child would miss a national squad fencing training event to go to a county youth hockey practice which was perceived as more prestigious.

For what its worth, some of us involved in the England Youth set up are trying to address this, but it's a big hill to climb.

Prometheus
-11th October 2006, 16:39
Baldric - imo, group activities are quite often preferred over individual activities.

Unfortunately the better talent is usually involved in multiple sports of course.

What I've found is it takes a certain pseudo-sociopathic type to prefer fencing over those group sports.

Baldric
-11th October 2006, 16:42
Baldric - imo, group activities are quite often prefered over individual activities.


Maybe, but I bet if it had been national squad swimming or athletics training it would be perceived as higher status than county hockey!



Unfortunately the better talent is usually involved in multiple sports of course.


Very true. I used to think that apathy was the enemy. It isn't - the enemy is football, rugby, hockey etc.



What I've found is it takes a certain pseudo-sociopathic type to prefer fencing over those group sports.

No argument there! :nanananan

Lynne
-13th October 2006, 07:38
Baldric, you and Prometheus are both right - the other factor here is that the child may lose their place on a regional/county team for not turning up to team training - in a team sport, it is important that the whole team trains together so that they work as a unit. An awful lot of pressure is put on fencers to miss or rearrange fencing training to suit other sports they do. :upset:

MiniM has told the basketball coach at school that he will not train at all with the team, because of the pressure he was put under to train at all their sessions, 3 of which clashed with fencing, because he was only able to train with them - could not be on the team if he did not attend all sessions. When you think of the kudos that schools attach to being on theire football/rugby/cricket/bball teams, it's a lot of pressure on some kids who might be wavering over choices.

Lynne
-13th October 2006, 07:39
Does that mean MiniM is a sociopath? :eek:

Insipiens
-13th October 2006, 08:14
Does that mean MiniM is a sociopath? :eek:
at least he is not playing basketball ;)

tigger
-16th October 2006, 07:27
I agree totally with Lynne - a lot of pressure is exerted by schools on youngsters to take part in their prestige sports. In general Fencing is underfunded by schools too - they'll spend thousands on sports kit for football, hockey etc, but how many schools are willing to invest in a box or lames or bodywires?

I think the base level of our fencers at the WCs was fine - nearly everyone made the DEs, and a large number made the L64s. It just happened that our best 4 or 5 individuals didn't perform to their ability on the day. This is the nature of international sport. As Kruse demonstrated this Summer he's already a podium fencer, we just need two or three more to make the transition from contender to podium and we'll be in business.

With all due respect to John L (whose controversial opinions I often agree with!) international fencing is not the same sport he used to fence in. There are now many, many more professional countries, much greater depth and more highly trained athletes than ever before. As usual (as in many sports) we lag behind in so many aspects - quality control of coaching at all levels; funding for coaching, venues and kit at grass roots; a national squad structure; prestige and publicity.

We happily run Truro FC 5 nights a week if it was financially viable, and many of our top fencers would happily train that much.

Lucan
-16th October 2006, 16:48
Are the BFA selection rules preventing British fencing becoming a top
European player.

Should we expose fencers to more overseas events.

What would happen if we change this:

4. The relevant results will be the fencerís best SIX results of which
more than three results may be from overseas competitions.
To:
4. The relevant results will be the fencerís best SIX results of which
two results must be from overseas competitions and one may be from
overseas competition.

With cheap air travel and better funding for our top fencers (pre 2012)
we are not imposing higher costs on the fencers.

How many times have on this forum have we wished a new fencer to the
British squad well on there way to their first A or GP grade where they
are completely overwhelmed. We need our fencers going to the French or
German equivalent of the Bristol for experence.

I am aware the organisers of British Opens may not like this.

Discus.

Lynne
-16th October 2006, 19:51
Discus.

Javelin! :nanananan

Marcos
-17th October 2006, 13:36
Lucan raises a good point that I think has been discussed on here before.


Not my place to talk about British selection criteria or ranking, but in Ireland we recognised the importance of fencing overseas and have put in place a funding scheme that (partially) compensates fencers for going abroad

We're a much smaller country with far less resources, but the principal is that if you go away to France, the UK, CDN, etc, and get a reasonable result you gain a credit which at the end of the season is exchanged for money.

You do have to be in the top 15% in the IAFF rankings, but a strong fencer should manage that by attending 2 or 3 comps.

The system has been in operation a year and will be tweaked but for reference;
http://www.irishfencing.net/squad/documents/squadfunding.pdf

(In fact it was in Amsterdam that I first fenced Harry M and it was obvious then the potential he has)


Going away to competition is just one part of the equation, but given fencers are going to be governed by how they are rewarded (ranking points) you can quickly adjust behaviour.

For instance, fencing in a competition in Spain or Bulgaria might gain a fencer great experience but the NIF count might not reflect this so they don't try it

AMC
-17th October 2006, 14:01
I agree with Vivo, Baldric and Lynne.
I coach at a few schools and one in particular is very supportive
and has brought two electric boxes and other equipment. The children
train hard go to competitions and win medals. BUT it is still seen as a B sport.

At my club there are 50 fencers with two coaches where we train two hours a week. This is not enough time, But to fence three times a week the hall costs would be too great and I do not have enough free time.

I have also found that over the years the dedicated fencers are becoming
less as TV/video games get better.

JohnL
-17th October 2006, 17:30
Hey Rory

My apologies for making the statement and then running, but I was heading out of the door to Italy on business and didn't have time to elaborate.

I note some of your comments.

"My mother always taught me "if you haven't got anything nice to say, don't say anything at all"."

That's all well and good, but your dear old mum probably knows nothing about world class fencing and judging by your comments, neither do you.

"All 4 MF making the 64 is a big deal, as is the L8 in the team event."

No it isn't. I could take a couple of pages of analysis of the results and they would confirm my opinion that our fencers sucked. I'm sorry, but if you think any fencer making the last 64 is a big deal, it isn't. If that's the best we can expect from them they might as well have stayed at home. In the MF, the only guy I'd forgive is RK. He's clearly a world class fencer and I'd support him even if he'd fallen on his a$$ in the rounds and got knocked out there.

"We've got a bit of strength in depth now, which we haven't always had."

If making the last 64 is a demonstration of in depth fencing then there's no hope.

"What are we missing, and how do we fix it"

In some of my first posts on this forum I discussed my theories. I won't bore you with them again.

What I can promise you though, is that without adopting them (or ones like them) you'll be seeing the same pathetic results for many years to come and they'll be justified by people like you stating "how hard the guys train" and "what a good effort" etc.

It wasn't a good effort, it wasn't good enough, and it needs fixing.

alien abductee
-17th October 2006, 23:47
Ah well, where to begin with JohnL's post?

1. All 4 MF in L64 including one in L32. No big deal?

From the patchy FIE archives it's been a long time since GBR showed that level of consistency and the sport is more global now (CHN, JPN, former Soviet states, decent USA team, etc.)

2. Last 8 in MF teams

Best result from GBR MF team since 6th at 1976 Olympics. Where's your grumble? As part of an upward curve as British Fencing becomes more professional that looks like progress to me.

3. "our fencers sucked....they might as well have stayed at home"

I'm sure they'd give your opinion all the value and respect it deserves. I'm equally sure that none of the MF were delighted with their result and had hoped and prepared for better. Some days it doesn't happen and its not like they lost to rabbits.

4. "the only guy I'd forgive is RK. He's clearly a world class fencer..."

Richard is the star of British Fencing and his results have been truly phenomenal. Well spotted!

The other poor saps in team - written off by you becasue they aren't producing the same results as Richard. Richard's results and the improving team results mean that more fencers will have the opportunity to train as much as him and with him. This is only starting to happen now - things are being fixed. Want more and want it sooner? - hand British Fencing the same amount of funding that they've managed to secure so far and you might have some grounds for your rant. Until then why not let someone qualified to criticise the team's performance do it (if that's required.) Leaving aside your remarkable defeat of Stefano Ceriono that Laurent has shared with the world on Youtube I would have thought that someone who didn't (AFAIK) make a British world championships team, didn't coach anyone who did, didn't manage a GB team or do the Performanc director's job and who doens't seem to have had any involvement in Biritsh fencing for the best part of 20 years perhaps isn't the best person to insist our guys are under-performing. I'm sure you'll correct me if I'm wrong...

rory
-18th October 2006, 08:43
JohnL,
Thanks for replying, albeit belatedly.

You're partially correct to say that I don't know much about international fencing, since I have never attained that level myself. However, I fail to see how it's relevant, as that lack hasn't impaired my ability to read statistics and results.

I'm not going to cover the same ground as Alien Abductee, since he's beaten me to it - but the basic fact is that things are improving faster now than they ever have before.

Incidentally, you did indeed post some good ideas when you joined the forum. They seem to have dried up, and all you want to do now is ***** and moan: that's fine as far as it goes, but it's hardly what you'd call constructive.If you really want to see British fencing results improve, maybe you could go back to making informed suggestions, rather than getting your jollies by sniping at everyone else.

It's a pretty sad, lonely existence when you participate in a community just to find fault with things - if that's all you've got, I pity you.

alien abductee
-18th October 2006, 11:21
Only 6 countries managed to get a full team of 4 fencers into the last 64 of the men's foil individuals at the world Championships - Germany, Italy, China, France, Japan and Britain. USA, Poland, Hungary, Korea et al didn't manage it.

Between 1981 and 1999 only one British men's foilist made last 16 at the Worlds (Pierre harper in 1987). Since 2001 Richard Kruse has made last 8 at the 2003 Worlds (plus last 8 at 2004 Olynpics) and James Beevers made last 16 in 2005.

in the 2006 World Cup rankings Richard Kruse is 23rd, James Beevers 92nd, David Risely 111th and Keith Cook 123rd. So Richard fenced to his world ranking in making a last 32 and all the others exceeded theirs by reaching the 64,

I look forward (almost) to JohnL's couple of pages of analysis to show that our foilists were crap in Turin. My point in starting the thread was to see if our expectations were matched by results. In most cases it seems the British Fencing public expect our boys to sweep all before them when in fact there's no historical precedent for that and the steady progress (and occasional spectacular result) of the last few years should be celebrated and encouraged to continue so that we can keep moving towards the stage where even JohnL will be happy.

JohnL
-18th October 2006, 17:01
Sorry Guys, I didn't think my post was as outrageous as to get the response that it did, however I'll start with a brief analysis. I haven't a lot of time right now, so I'll start with the MF team event. (By the way, I think concentrating on the MF to be a bit unfair because generally speaking the other weapons did worse.)

So, what did the team manage in team event;

1. They beat Iran

Given that the Iranian team members (4) managed 4 wins between them in the individual event and not one made the L64, I hardly think they can be considered a fencing powerhouse that we should be proud of beating.
Credit - 0

2. They beat Austria

The Austrian team managed to put 3 fencers into the last 64 and 1 in the last 96. If you consider beating them is an improvement I simply disagree. They are a second best fencing nation, always have been and show no signs of improvement.
Credit - 1

3. They then lost to Italy, China, and Japan.

I agree that these are good teams, but if we're going to seriously suggest we're getting somewhere, these are the guys we've got to take on, certainly china and japan.
Credit - 1

I'm sorry guys, but holding up this result as one that shows improvement and they deserve credit for it, I simply disagree. I think our standards need to be higher and I believe the team result was poor.

alien abductee
-18th October 2006, 17:47
That's it? That's the analysis I've been waiting for?

In the spirit of forgiveness, I'll let you come back with something better later when you have more time. Similarly (when I've got more time) I'll come back with an explanation of why your initial analysis isn't that great either.

JohnL
-18th October 2006, 20:51
Despite the sarcasm and personal insults I still fail to see your point.

Of our men's foilists, I have no doubt that given RK's recent reults at Olympics, Eurpean Champs, and A grades, I have no doubt that he considers his last 32 result at the worlds as a poor one.

Of the others, if all they aspire to (which I severely doubt) is the last 64 at the world champs, then they should quit now.

While I expect better from them, I have no doubt they expect better from themselves. I don't say that I consider the results disappointing to insult their efforts, but if we consider the results acceptable, there is no reason to improve. I don't see the results as acceptable.

Foilling Around
-18th October 2006, 21:36
OK here I go wading in where angels fear to tread!!

I too have little experience of international fencing. Until recently and second hand through FAJ.

We seem to be unable to divorce a criticism of the results from a criticism of the fencers.

For me, JohnL make valid points about the acceptability of the results. Even the MF are not what we want and we cannot even get any WF to make the criteria! JohnL makes them in a very blunt and non-constructive way, but that doesn't stop him being right.

On the otherhand, they are an improvement. It gives a higher bar for both these fencers and the next generation to aim for. The fencers concerned have tried to make the best of their ability given the constraints they are under.

Our fencers need:-

1) More financial support (some of this is on the way, but it will take time to kick in)
2) More time for training (some of this will be taken care of by the financial support)
3) More infrastructure support (eg physiotherapy and sport psychology)
4) High quality coaching (Either more of what they have or if it is deemed inadequate access to better
5) Training partners who push them beyond their limits. (Difficult to find in this country)

We are not going to jump straight from also rans to medal winners in one jump. So Last 8 is the first step. The current MF U20s will now be looking at breaking into a team which is already achieving L8 in WCs and World Champs. They will want to better this.

Phrases such as "we can't run before we can walk" and " Rome wasn't built in a day" spring to mind, but they are all too trite.

I think the Graham and the IC are getting on the right track. Representing Great Britain should not be the goal, it should be the stepping stone to achieving internationally.

If you have ideas to add to or replace the ideas they have, then get involved. Some such are Tigger and Richard B are well on the way. Others such as Andy in Sheffield are getting started. Many other are working in the background.

IMHO 2012 is too close to achieve what we would like, 2016 or 2020 is more like it. It too the USA close to 15 years and they are just on the way.

Let us do the best we can in the short time we have.

alien abductee
-18th October 2006, 21:45
Now we're getting somewhere! If you'd posted your last post first, I'd have agreed with much more of what you've just said. I'm sure too that Richard is disappointed with his last 32 and James, having made a 16 last year and performed really well in the poules this year, is almost certainly not happy with this year's final placing. David Risely didn't make a great job of his poule but won a good fight in the 96 before going out to Baldini in the 64 and Keith Cook (a late replacement for David Mansour) made a decent go of his poule at his first World Championships and beat a good Russian in the 96 before going out LePechoux. None of them went out to rabbits and none had a disaster. At this moment that's an acceptable (if not outstanding) level of performance and, in a team that has an average of about 24, there is time to improve further. There is now (although only very recently) enough funding to allow these guys and others to train sufficiently seriously that they (and we) will reasonably expect to see further improvement. If the British men's foilists are getting the same results in 4 years time, then I'll be as disappointed as you are now but I think I'm being a lot more realistic in saying that semi-professionalism is only just starting to be part of British Fencing and we're not going to have a whole load of world-class foilists overnight. Right now Britain has one. Given time and money and the ongoing commitment of the fencers I believe we'll have more.

I'd give you a similar tale about the team result and probably a more informed opinion about the strengths of the teams that you reckon Britain should be beating but hopefully you'll see the sense of what I written above and can transfer it to the development and improvement of the team. I hope so - I don't really enjoy being rude to people.

Marcos
-19th October 2006, 08:57
I'm sure all the fencers who took part in the Worlds or Europeans knows exactly whether they should be happy or dissapointed at their performance

Though I liked the observation from Tiger and Cuppa that fencers at this level generally feel p'ssed off simply when they don't win gold

Talking about individual fencer's performances I don't think is especially fair on the fencer and only highlights how few top class fencers the UK has (IRL had just one competitor in both Europeans and Worlds - O*N and Byrne respectively so the debate is far more acute over here). JohnL has provoked debate, which is good, but do it with a cool head!

Talk about expectations and solutions on how to improve, which some, especially Foiling Around, have done, but don't denigrate individual fencer's efforts - they know full well how they did.

Talk about how it is done abroad...

Estonia, Hungry, Latvia, Sweden, etc are far smaller countries that the UK yet have greater success. They do it by focussing on just one weapon, having a tradition in that weapon, and having an infrastructure to support that one weapon.

In Spain, a sabre comp is considered big if it has more than 50 entrants, an epee comp is large if it has more than 70 - half that of the UK! Yet in Spain their top clubs are open every day, and their national squad is fully funded and train together pretty much every day.

As Lucan, and in previous threads Tigger, have eluded to, have (if you don't already) a fully planned out competition plan for the top 20 fencers in each weapon, where experience and progression are more important than NIF value, and contribute to their expenses?

frog
-19th October 2006, 10:25
Talk about expectations and solutions on how to improve, which some, especially Foiling Around, have done, but don't denigrate individual fencer's efforts - they know full well how they did

Thank you Marcos!


JonhL you don't know these fencers personally so don't talk as though they are pleased with their 'poor and unacceptable' results (only they know whether they are pleased or dissapointed)

You may feel you want to express your feelings on this forum but next time just have a think about what you are writing before you press 'post' because they read this forum too..

JohnL
-19th October 2006, 12:17
Hi Frog

If the team members read this forum, which I hope they do as there's debate about the sport that they take part in, I have no problem if they criticise my opinions.

I would be stunned though if they said either, "I thought making the last 64 was a triumph," or "beating the Iranian team was the highlight of my fencing career."

Ok, I don't put my thoughts in as warm and fuzzy a way as you may want. For that I make no apology. I still think that British fencing has fundamental problems (despite the hard efforts of Graham and all his colleagues) that need changing.

I believe that to suggest the results at the WC were anything other than poor, misrepresents the current state of British fencing.

madfencer
-19th October 2006, 12:37
I still think that British fencing has fundamental problems (despite the hard efforts of Graham and all his colleagues) that need changing.

Ok I kind of agree with you there John...there are some problems with Britsh Fencing (mainly a cash thing....cash = more training and better training = better and more dedicated fencers = better results...but there is also a lack of fencing in schools and schools that have fencing being unwilling to provide equipment - our school club had to shut for a yr because of a lack of regualtion equipment!).
Thank god we have the likes of Tigger, who are helping to shape the future of British Fencing with TFC Gold and the Cornwall Pro Sabre.
However the results that these fencers got at the Worlds may not have necessarily been what they were aiming for but they stilled excelled and you have to admit that although British fencing does have a few problems, fencing in Britain is definately on the up. Like someone said earlier in this thread GBR was one of only 6 (?) teams for all fencers to make the last 64. Despite what you may think, I feel that this is a good result. The fact that they have abviosly put in a lot of hard work and dedication before this competition deserves it's own merits - whilst their non-fencing friends have probably been down the pub and at the clubs they have been slogging away for the World Championships. The World Championships are a totally different kettle of fish to any other competition, the standard is much much higher. Comparing the results from the Commonwealths and the World's says it all....the Canadian that won the womens epee got knocked out in the 2nd round of the Worlds and even the Women's epee world champion of 2005 (and now 2006) Sherraine MacKay got knocked out in the 2nd round of the Worlds this year when she got at least a Bronze last year! (Sorry can't give examples of men's foil as I competed in Womens epee at the Commonwealths but am sure I wouldn't be short of examples!) How can you say that GBR didn't have a great achievement in the worlds this year? GBR were up there with all the big names and counties and all right, so GBR beat the Iranian team and were happy about it...GBR didn't lose to them did they!


I believe that to suggest the results at the WC were anything other than poor, misrepresents the current state of British fencing.

:eek: Our results were not poor. :eek: I'm sure that A HELL OF A LOT of people would strongly disagree with you there.

madfencer

ps. well done to team GBR :not_worth
pps. sorry this post is so long! :rolling:

Marcos
-19th October 2006, 13:28
Unfortunately by commenting on individual fencer's results in the manner you did, JohnL, you provoked people to be defensive, which is a pretty understandable (and probably predictable) reaction

If instead you take the position that every fencer tried their hardest in training, and in the comp itself, (and only they know whether this is true or not) then you can talk abuot the infrastructure behind the results. If, as you mention, the results were poor, then ask the question,

Were they a blip that doesn't reflect the progression UK fencing has made in recent years?

Was it bad luck, or was something lacking in the preperation?

You might take the view that the results were a mixed bag...any under-performances then need to be looked at by the fencer and their coach rather than debated on here.

If you argue that UK Fencing is in a state of crisis (and I would suggest this depends on the timeline you are comparing to) then talk about infrastructure, money, etc.

As mentioned...if Estonia, Hong Kong, Venezuela and Switzerland can produce Top 50 fencers.......

Even better than talk about generalities, tell us how you personally can help - maybe you can set-up an exchange where a couple of GBR fencers and their coaches can fence with the US team for a week

But to those fencers who have put the work in, trained for hours, and put their names into the hat, good luck.....let's support them in the best way we can, and support those who will follow them - they do read these forums, but possibly feel they can't speak out on the specifics...doesn't mean they are not trying to fix what they can...

(in the meantime, you can be pretty sure that the English Football team doesn't read the forum, so attack them as much as you want...they really do deserve it !;))

frog
-19th October 2006, 13:35
I would be stunned though if they said either, "I thought making the last 64 was a triumph," or "beating the Iranian team was the highlight of my fencing career." .

But that's exactly it - the fencers have not said that!
That's just you!
How individual fencers feel about their personal and team performances is nothing to do with you or anyone else unless of course they wish to discuss it.
If there are fundamental problems with British fencing then surely that is not the fault of the fencers who were out there at the Worlds. They are just training hard, getting the necessary qualifications and generally making the most of the situation they are in right now. (whether that be a bad result at the WC or a good one)


I believe that to suggest the results at the WC were anything other than poor, misrepresents the current state of British fencing.

Okay - i agree, overall the results were poor and clearly not up with [your] expectations, but give them some slack. How about a little bit of encouragement instead....?

When the BFA have a better idea of their situation with UkSport etc then maybe things will get better. But if you consider thr situation we are in right now then i think a couple a 32's and 64's isn't the end of the world!!!!

madfencer
-26th October 2006, 13:55
I spoke to Kruse over the weekend and asked him how he felt about his results (after congratualting him on them the day before of course!)...he said that he felt his results were 'OK' but that the team results 'were great'. If that makes any difference to what anyone thinks.

I think he was under too much pressure to do well personally and therefore he also had the problem that people from other coutries were 'out to get hin' so to speak. He has clearly shown that he is a great fencer and he certainly has the potential to win the Olympics IMHO.

madfencer