7 November 2018
This weekend two Abingdon fencers represented Great Britain at U17 level at Epee in Grenoble. This is a large European circuit competition, with an entry of 147 fencers.
Ed Scott Payne had an excellent first poule round, winning four out of five fights and setting himself up well to go into the direct elimination phase seeded 18th. He got comfortably past an Italian and a French fencer to make it to the last 32 round of the competition, before losing out 15/9 to another French fencer, and ultimately ended up in 21st position.
Harry Baston-Hall didn't start the competition so well, struggling in the first round and winning just one fight of five. This left him as the 124th seed in the direct elimination with a hard task ahead of him. He found his form and confidence at the right time, however, and started by knocking out the fifth seed, a fencer from Colombia. He went on to beat a Swiss and a Spanish fencer to finish in the last 16 round of the competition.
These are both remarkable results in the first international competition of the season, and leave Harry in 2nd and Ed in 4th in the Great Britain National U17 rankings. Having two of the top four GB Epeeists makes Abingdon one of the strongest fencing schools in the country, and is testament to the hard work put in by the fencers and their coaches.
Further international competitions this season that both Ed and Harry have been selected for are to Bonn, Copenhagen, and Bratislava.