There was little doubt that Ben Andrews was favourite to win the U16 Boys’ Epee, following on from his recent outstanding result at the Cadet World Championships. An easy first-round victory, 15-6, against an East Midlands Fencer, saw Ben face the Welsh Regional Champion, Ben winning this bout 15:7. Next from the home nations was the seventh-seeded Scottish Champion, Ben overcame this challenge in a close round of 15:13.
In the final, Ben met fellow South West Fencer Luke Mason who dealt Ben some very fast attacks. A short break, and a tactical discussion with his coach, Peter Barrett, saw Ben close the gap and eventually draw level at 14:14. A final strike was all that was required for victory from either Fencer. Ben parried the attack and drove home his swift riposte to take the championship 15:14. Plymouth College Headmaster Jonathan Standen said:” Ben is a prodigious talent, of whom we are all extremely proud, he is a future Olympian in the making.”
Abagael Black, competing in the U14 Girls’ Epee became the second Plymouth College student to achieve gold at the National Championships. Abagael had a challenging route to the finals. After putting the disappointment of her performance in the pool behind her, she set about the elimination rounds of the competition with determination. Smashing her first-round opponent from Scotland 15:1, regional champions from Yorkshire, London and the South West were overcome in quick succession, mainly due to Abagael’s pin-point accuracy.
In the final round, Abagael met Patrycja Krzyzaniak, a ferocious competitor from London. Abagael and Patrycja being the two highest ranked athletes in the country, the bout was obviously going to be exciting, and the crowd were not disappointed. Abagael eventually overcame her opponent 7:6.
Joining Abagael and Ben at the competition was Tia Simms-Lymn in the U18 Epee. Her coach Peter Barrett observed:” Tia was really on form and never looked under threat.” Tia an international fencer, representing Jamaica, made the competition look effortless, eventually taking gold, with some well-calculated attacks.
Taylor Foxwell-Moss managed bronze, beating fellow Plymouth College student Katy Miles in the quarter-finals. Katy returned home with an excellent fifth place.
Robert Flack, Plymouth College Director of Modern Pentathlon, said: “This is a truly outstanding set of results, and congratulations must go to these students, not only for their success but their continued dedication in training.”
The Plymouth College Fencing and Modern Pentathlon Academy was also represented by Martha Miles (11th U12 Epee); Emma Andrews (21st U16 Epee): Lauren Singleton (15th U16 Epee) and Catherine Bishop (U18 Epee).
These results cement Plymouth College as one of the leading coaching centres in Europe for Fencing and Modern Pentathlon. The school has also been awarded the GB Pentathlon seal of approval and been officially recognised by the GB Pentathlon Academy.