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The 2018 World Championships conclude in Wuxi tonight, bringing the 2017/18 season to a close. Well done to all of our senior internationals on an excellent season.

Men’s Foil

201 Stephen Brown
347 James Brosnan
416 Lachlan Sykes
453 Alastair Johnston
647 Brendan Cusack
795 Michael Thompson

Women’s Foil

242 Finnula Mageras
267 Anna Lee
322 Victoria Duxbury
370 Keziah Beattie
545 Lucy Taylor

Men’s Épée

420 Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe
493 Philip Slater
501 Benedict Chambers
502 Michael Geraghty
529 James Simpson
598 Paddy Brennan
603 Tom O’Brien
611 Shane Whelan
641 Dawid Kulka
687 Sean Ryan
690 Sean Clarke
700 Gerard Madden
710 Paul Verdon
712 Ross Byrne
712 Robbie Savage
720 Anthony Kelly
727 Rory Greenan
732 James Barden
739 Patrick Lynch
745 Joseph Richardson

Women’s Épée

405 Rachel Conner-Hill
505 Lucy Johnson
723 Jennifer McGeever

Men’s Sabre

340 Michalis Kirimlidis
344 Michael Jacob

Women’s Sabre

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The Games of the XXXII Olympiad – Tokyo 2020 – will open in exactly two years this week, yet qualification gets underway much sooner.

According to the FIE qualification process published in October 2017, national teams and individuals will be able to qualify between 3 April 2019 and 4 April 2020 – meaning events taking place in the latter part of the 2018/19 season will count towards places at the Olympics.

After qualified teams and individuals are named, there is still one more chance for fencers to get to Tokyo 2020.

Zonal Qualifiers

The zonal qualifiers are contested between nations that have not qualified a team or athlete via the FIE rankings. Fencing Ireland will be able to send one fencer per weapon to the European Qualifier in April 2020. These competitions are fenced as individual tournaments with pools and direct elimination; the final champion earns a place at the Olympic Games.

Places at the Zonal Qualifiers are therefore hotly contested and Fencing Ireland is committed to conducting its selections in a fair, robust, and transparent way.

Zonal Qualifier 2020: Provisional Criteria

The Selection Committee proposes a qualification period running from 1 February 2019 to 31 January 2020. At the end of this period, one fencer per weapon will be named according to the following proposed criteria:

A. Fencers are ranked by Senior World Cup Points as of 1 February 2019. In the event of a tie, then

B. Fencers are separated by FIE Senior World Ranking as of 1 February 2019. In the event of a continued tie, then

C. Priority is given to World Cup Points attained at World Cup/Grand Prix/major championship over World Cup Points attained at Satellite level.

The board and selectors would welcome feedback (positive and negative) and queries from across the Irish fencing community. Please contact or any member of the Board to share your views.

Olympic Games 2020: Countdown to Qualifying

2018/19 Season

  • Fencing Ireland qualification period begins 1 February 2019.
  • Direct FIE qualification period for teams and for individuals begins on 3 April.
  • One World Cup at each weapon, plus two sabre Grand Prix, one epee Grand Prix and one foil Grand Prix take place in April/May.
  • European Championships in Dusseldorf in June, followed by the last World Championships of the cycle in Budapest in July.

2019/20 Season

  • Satellite season in September/October, including Dublin Satellite 2020 at Men’s Epee.
  • Main World Cup/Grand Prix season begins in November.
  • Fencing Ireland's candidates for the European Qualifier named on 1 February 2020 (ensuring at least two months’ notice to prepare for Zonal).
  • World Cup/Grand Prix season continues through February/March, with FIE team and individual places still up for grabs.
  • On 4 April, qualifying teams named from FIE rankings (8 per weapon) and qualifying individuals named from FIE rankings (6 per weapon from countries not represented in team events).
  • Zonal Qualifying event (1 fencer per weapon, contested by countries not already represented) takes place in Minsk in April.
  • Olympic Games begin in Tokyo on 24 July 2020.

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Three fencers made the trip to the city of Wuxi (near Shanghai) for the 2018 World Championships. All three qualified by making it to the DEs at a World Cup during this season, and both of our foilists repeated the feat in China.

Stephen Brown (Queen’s University Belfast / Grosvenor FC) earned the best result of the season at the Senior World Cup in Bonn back in February. A V3D3 pool in Wuxi earned Brown a place in the tableau with a bye to the p64, where he was knocked out 15-6 by Hertsyk UKR.

James Brosnan (University of Warwick / Salle Boston) made it to China after a strong performance in Paris in January. Coming through the pools V2D4 (including belle-touche losses to Shimbo BRA and Broszus CAN), Brosnan went out 15-7 to Dahlin DEN in the p128.

Our sole competitor in Men’s Sabre, Michalis Kirimlidis (Salle Dublin) was unable to find the form shown in Madrid last month and ended his World Championships journey after the pools.

Men's Foil (135)
81st  Stephen Brown
97th  James Brosnan

Men's Sabre (115)
112th  Michalis Kirimlidis  

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An all-island team took part in the Student 4 Nations on July 14. Hosted by England Fencing this year, the 2018 event took place in Leeds and featured an individual event for the first time. 

Well done to the Irish Women's Foil squad and Men's Épée squad, who both took team silver. Sam Mitchell (DUFC) defeated teammate Jonathan Burnside (Ulster University) to win the individual épée final. The final standings were as follows:

 1st   England
 2nd   Scotland
 3rd   Ireland
 4th   Wales

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Coláiste Mhuire TY students in Askeaton embrace the cut and thrust of a new sport!

From September the transition year students in Coláiste Mhuire will be learning fencing for the first time. A 10 week course has been agreed with Deputy Head John Burke to be provided by Munster Blades Coach Patrick Dight. The lesson plan will include a broad base of foot work, bladework and presiding, culminating in a school competition using electric scoring equipment. “I aim to get every student fencing from the first lesson” says Patrick, ” it’s important to get them using simple attacks and defence from day one as they have a lot to learn before our mini competition at Christmas.”

As part of the interschool programme the school can also take opportunities to meet and fence students from other schools when possible.

Coláiste Mhuire is tremendously proud of its history, tradition and achievements, continuing a tradition of excellence in the provision of second level education which dates back to 1940. Down through the years they have been the number one choice for pupils from a very large number of primary schools. The personal interest taken by staff in students has always been a hallmark of education in Coláiste Mhuire. Central to their philosophy is the care of each individual student and the staff of Coláiste Mhuire work as a team, dedicated to ensuring that each individual student achieves his/her potential.

The inclusion of fencing in the TY curriculum is a first for the school and illustrates the commitment of staff to bring new challenges and opportunities for personal development to their students.

Words and images: Munster Blades FC.

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Fencing Ireland was well represented and came away with a couple of medals this year at the 2018 US Nationals & July Challenge in St. Louis, Missouri.

Genevieve Clarke, Jake McGillion-Moore and Katie McGillion-Moore competed for Foil in a range of age categories, while Michael Geraghty and Sophia McGee flew the flag in Epee.

Men's Foil

Division I Men's Foil (130)

97th   Jake McGillion-Moore

Junior Men's Foil (251)

137th   Jake McGillion-Moore

Cadet Men's Foil (258)

45th  Jake McGillion-Moore

Women's Foil

Division I Women's Foil (99)

45th   Genevieve Clarke

Division II Women's Foil (159)

 3rd   Katie McGillion-Moore

Junior Women's Foil (226)

37th   Genevieve Clarke

Cadet Women's Foil (205)

 6th   Genevieve Clarke
53rd  Katie McGillion-Moore

Y-14 Women's Foil (230)

103rd  Katie McGillion-Moore

Men's Épée

Division I Men's Épée (159)

 113rd  Michael Geraghty

Women's Épée

Division III Women's Épée (173)

118th Sophia McGee

Junior Women's Épée (217)

208th Sophia McGee

Words and images by Fergal Moore.

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Fencers on the 2018/19 international panels are reminded that the deadline for submission of pre-season competition plans is midnight tonight (Saturday 30 June). Fencers may check their qualification status by viewing the Panel 2018/19 page.

Entry to Senior Events

Panel fencers may use the following forms to enter Satellites, World Cups and Grand Prix. Check what events are available – and who’s already entered – at the International Calendar.

Please note that an FIE licence is required to enter these events. Fencers new to the international circuit will be asked to present a valid Irish passport so that their licence can be registered.

Entry to Junior Events

U20 panel fencers may enter Junior World Cups using the forms linked on the Junior Selection page. Check what events are available – and who’s already entered – at the Junior Calendar.

Please note that an FIE licence is required to enter these events. Fencers new to the circuit will be asked to present a valid Irish passport so that their licence can be registered.

Entry to Cadet Events

U17 panel fencers may enter EFC Cadet Circuit events using the forms linked on the Cadet Selection page. Check what events are available – and who’s already entered – at the Cadet Calendar.

Please note that an EFC licence is required to enter these events. Fencers new to the cadet circuit will be asked to present a valid Irish passport so that their licence can be registered.

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Two Tipperary schools have become the latest participants of the Interschool Fencing Programme.

From the 2018/19 school year, St Mary’s Secondary School in Nenagh and Cistercian College in Roscrea will add fencing to their Transition Year timetables, bringing the roster of IFP schools to eight.

Mixed schools: Dunamase College (Portlaoise)
Girls schools: St Mary’s (Nenagh), Mount Sackville (Dublin)
Boys schools: Cistercian College (Roscrea), Clongowes Wood College (Clane), RBAI (Belfast), Castleknock College (Dublin), Glenstal Abbey (Limerick)

Find out more about the Interschool Programme and discover whether fencing is right for your school.

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Ireland had six fencers in Novi Sad this week for the European Fencing Championships. Team Ireland participated in four of the individual events and in the Men’s Team Foil.

Men's Épée (104)

Yannick Borel FRA claimed his third back-to-back European title in a 15-14 thriller against Nikolai Novosjolov EST.

View full ME results >> 

Men's Épée Team (20)
 1st   Russia
 2nd   France
 3rd  Italy

Women's Épée (84)

Reigning champion Violetta Kolobova RUS was denied the chance to defend her title, losing 14-13 to Katrina Lehis EST. The other semi-final was an all-Estonian affair, with former world champion Julia Beljajeva losing to teammate Kristina Kuusk. In a career-best result, Lehis took gold 15-14.

  • 84th – Lucy Johnson

View full WE results >> 

Women's Épée Team (17)
 1st   France
 2nd   Poland
 3rd  Estonia

Men's Foil (79)

Russia's Alexei Cheremisinov toppled reigning European (and Olympic) champion Daniele Garozzo in a 15-14 showdown.

  • 64th – Stephen Brown
  • 65th – James Brosnan
  • 76th – Lachlan Sykes

View full MF results >> 

Men's Foil Team (14)

Team Ireland were knocked out of the main tableau 45-20 by fourth seeds Germany, going on to fence home team Serbia for 13th place. In only the second team appearance for Ireland this season, they claimed victory 45-40.

 1st  Russia
 2nd  Italy
 3rd  Poland

Women's Foil (61)

Inna Deriglazova RUS continues to look untouchable after an incredible season. She earned Russia's third gold of the tournament in a 15-9 win over Italy's dual-wielding star Arianna Errigo.

  • 57th – Anna Lee

View full WF results >> 

Women's Foil Team (12)
 1st   Italy
 2nd   Russia
 3rd  France

Men's Sabre (60)

Max Hartung of Germany not only kept his crown, but earned Germany's first medal of the tournament. He took on Sandro Bazadze GEO in the first semi-final, while world champion Kamil Ibragimov saw off his Russian teammates Dmitry Damilenko faced off on the other side of the bracket. Hartung defeated Ibragimov 15-12.

  • 52nd – Michalis Kirimlidis

View full MS results >> 

Men's Sabre Team (12)
 1st   Hungary
 2nd   Italy
 3rd  Germany

Women's Sabre (58)

Sofya Velikaya continued a serious run of form after last month's comeback Grand Prix gold. The Russian won her fourth European title against France's Cecilia Berder.

View full WS results >> 

Women’s Sabre Team (13)
 1st  Russia
 2nd  Ukraine
 3rd  France

The next stop for Ireland’s elite fencers is the World Championship, which is only four weeks away in Wuxi. Best of luck to foilists James Brosnan and Stephen Brown, and to sabreur Michalis Kirimlidis.

If you're inspired to try to qualify for 2019, check out our Selection Policy to find out how.

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The FIE has released its updated list of approved masks (with regulation fastening systems) for use in the 2018/19 season.

View the list of approved manufacturers here.

In April, FIE-SEMI issued the following statement:

In regards to the decision of FIE congress held in Dubai 2017 which approved the new fastening system we would remind that only the manufacturer is allowed to modify the old models of its own masks with the new fastening system.

The only exception from the above regulation allows for authorized agents of each manufacturing company or other certified manufacturers on the basis of a written power of attorney to modify the masks with the new strap.

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As schools and colleges wind down for the summer, many clubs are operating reduced hours. See below to find out where you can keep training in the run-up to the South of Ireland Open in September!

List your club’s details for June, July and August by contacting

Co. Cork

Club Location Days/Times Drop-ins welcome?
Cork City & County Cobh Community Centre Wednesday 7pm-9pm (June only) Yes
UCC Mardyke Arena, Cork Monday 6pm-8:30pm
Thursday 6pm-8:30pm
Saturday 3pm-6pm
By prior arrangement – contact

Co. Dublin

Club Location Days/Times Drop-ins welcome?
Fencing Ireland Loreto Abbey, Dalkey Sunday 11am-1pm Yes
Brian Boru FC Pentathlon Centre, National Sports Campus Monday 7pm-10pm
Wednesday 7pm-10pm
Saturday 11am-1pm
Ravenwood FC Good Counsel GAA Club, Drimnagh Tuesday 7:30pm-10pm
Sunday 11:30am-14:00pm
Kids club: Sunday 10am-11:30am
DUFC Trinity College Sports Centre Members only

Co. Galway

Club Location Days/Times Drop-ins welcome?
Connaught FC Unlimited Fitness, Oranmore Monday 8pm-10pm
Friday 8pm-10pm

Co. Tipperary

Club Location Days/Times Drop-ins welcome?
Munster Blades FC CBS, Nenagh Friday 7pm-8:30pm Yes

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The 2018 AGM took place in Dublin on Sunday 10 June. Many thanks to the members who turned out to make 2018 the largest AGM in recent years.

Fencing Ireland is welcoming an entirely new executive team and three new faces as part of the ordinary committee.

Chairperson: Laura Donaghy
Secretary: Desmond Gilhooly
Treasurer: Kevin Foley


  • Aidan Clarke
  • Achilleas Floudas
  • Philip Lee
  • Nuala McGarrity
  • Owen McNamee
  • Joseph Richardson
  • Michael Ryan
  • Duncan Salter

Three serving committee members did not seek re-election for the new season. Fencing Ireland would like to thank Julian Smith for his hard work over some years as outgoing Treasurer, Scott O’Malley who has provided invaluable support with databases and digital media in his five years on the board, and Jamie Simpson who has created a strong referee training structure for our sport going forward. We value the contribution made by all three and hope that they will remain involved in Irish fencing in another form.

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The last satellite of the season – Copenhagen’s Trekanten International – took place over the weekend, contested by three Irish foilists.

Men’s Foil
Alastair Johnston (Salle Holyrood) earned victories over Ferraro USA and Briceno VEN to make it out of the pools. He drew Kralik SVK in the first round and was knocked out 15-7.

  • Alastair Johnston – 47th of 69

Kongstad DEN claimed home advantage in the final, defeating Croatian junior Petar Files. [Full results]

Women’s Foil
The result of the day came from Anna Lee (Pembroke FC / Paris TA) who defeated Bimova CZE, Kwok GBR, Raudaskoski FIN and Gilljam SWE in the pool, seeding 6th. In the tableau she drew Degerman FIN and Van Der Hejden NED, easing past both 15-10. Reaching the quarter-finals Lee was knocked out by Michel MEX, who went on to take silver.

Victoria Duxbury (Edinburgh FC) won her bouts against Warrender GBR and Muralidharan AUS in the pool, making the cut. She lost her first-round match against Karimova KAZ.

  • Anna Lee – 5th of 37
  • Victoria Duxbury – 21st of 37

Image by Roman Boed, used under CC 2.0