Stunning win for Truro fencer Caitlin
TRURO Fencing Club's athletes produced some outstanding results at the Stratford Under-17 and Hamlet Senior Sabre competitions.
The biggest story of the weekend was an extraordinary gold medal at the Hamlet Sabre Open for 14-year-old talent Caitlin Maxwell, competing in her first senior event.
Hamlet is one of the toughest senior events of the season, but Maxwell wasn't fazed by this, winning five matches and losing 1 in the pool rounds to gain a seeding of 12th going into the elimination stages.
In the L32 Maxwell defeated former World Veteran Champion and senior top 10 fencer Jane Hutchison comfortably, before taking out fifth seed Liz Ng 15-7 in a dominant display.
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With a win over former GB top 10 senior and former national junior champion Jess Davies in the L8, the Cornish fencer progressed to the semis where she met one of the competition favourites, Alice Watson, ranked 4th in Britain.
Maxwell took control early on, and despite a comeback at the end by Scotland's Watson, the Truro sabreur closed out the match 15-11.
In the final Emily Ruaux proved a tough opponent, but a lightning fast parry-riposte followed by a well-timed attack gave Maxwell the edge and she took the gold medal 15-12, winning a senior open at the first time of asking aged just 14.
This historic achievement somewhat overshadowed other brilliant performances by the Truro team – 14-year-old Maria Chart was placed 6th in the same event – another truly top-class result which saw her defeat two of Britain's top 10 seniors; and Marta Baeza also reached the final eight, giving Truro three of the top eight places. Tess Norejko, 18, was placed an impressive strong 19th, with 15-year-old Millie Smith finishing a strong 24th, and 14-year-old Jenna Bray 41st.
The boys' Under 17 Stratford Sabre on the same day saw domination by the Truro squad.
A professional and mature performance from Will Deary saw him take the gold medal with his usual mix of strong physical attacks, and well-timed attacks on preparation and parries. Deary cemented his place as Britain's leading cadet as he begins his bid to qualify for a second World Youth Championships and a third European Youth Championships.
Team-mate Josh Maxwell was placed an excellent 3rd, unfortunately meeting Deary in the semi. Maxwell had come through some tricky matches with good use of the piste, and excellent timing. Another Truro fencer, Fraser Woodburn, was placed equal 3rd, just losing out on the final in a nail-biting 15-13 defeat to French cadet Van Hoffelen. Maxwell and Woodburn will be aiming to qualify for the 2014 World Championships too. Very good performances came from some other much younger fencers, with 14-year-old Jamie Craze 12th, and Awen Saunders 13th. Alex Boote 29th and 12-year-old Bertie Holdsworth 31st.
On the Sunday Caitlin Maxwell took a second gold medal, this time in the U17 category.
She fought through to the final, with only team-mate Maria Chart threatening her dominance in the semi in a high quality match, which Maxwell edged 15-12. In the final Caitlin defeated the current GB number one cadet 15-10 to take her second title in two days. Maria was placed an excellent 3rd place, with Millie Smith finishing 9th.
In the senior men's competition there was a field of more than 100 fencers, including most of Britain's leading men. Truro's Michael Clark placed 6th, with Bryn Saunders, 18, in 7th. Will Deary followed up his U17 Gold with an excellent 12th place in the senior competition, and Josh Maxwell placed 25th, Fraser Woodburn 26th, Noah Rogerson 29th and Harry Boteler 31st.
Further South East Truro's Yvonne Chart, reigning British Under 17 Champion, was competing in the Women's Senior Essex Open, and battled through to a very strong 10th place. In the Under 20 event next day Yvonne put in another string showing with a top 8 finish, in 7th place overall.
Truro Head Coach Jon Salfield paid tribute to the fencers and the club's coaching team.
He said: "This was an outstanding start to the season for the club, and shows how well the athletes have been prepared by our coaching team over the Summer break.
"Pre-season training at home, and international training camps in Greece and Hungary have all been very successful, and thankfully injury free.
"Special mention must be made of Caitlin Maxwell's gold medal on her senior competition debut aged just 14 – this is a performance of absolute top class, and possibly a first in British Fencing history. The whole Truro Cadet, Junior and Senior squad are incredibly committed, and their results are showing just what hard work can achieve."