Fencing Ireland are incredibly proud of the six athletes who fenced at the Olympic qualifier this weekend. Though we didn’t manage to qualify an Irish fencer for Rio 2016, our squad performed fantastically against the toughest opponents that world-class fencing has to offer.
Every one of the six – Benedict Chambers and Jennifer McGeever in épée, Brendan Cusack and Victoria Duxbury in foil, and Stephen Concannon and Szabina Matyas in sabre – worked incredibly hard to reach the qualifier in Prague and they have our warmest congratulations on a great display of Irish fencing.
Victoria Duxbury (Edinburgh FC) was one of 21 entrants to the Women’s Foil qualifier. Having beaten Enright FIN and Turcan MDA in the pools, Victoria faced recent junior #1 Malina Calugareanu of Romania. Victoria was knocked out 15-2 in the Last 16.
Despite some fine fencing and a 5-0 victory over Komsic CRO, Brendan Cusack (Empire United) missed the cut by two places.
In an event with no easy pools, Benedict Chambers (FFF) was V2D3 including a fantastic victory over Olympic silver medallist Piasecki NOR. Unfortunately Benedict missed the first-round cut on indicators.
Jennifer McGeever (Pentathlon Ireland) defeated Herminio POR and had close matches (5-4) against double Olympic finalist Heidemann GER and against Doubova CZE. She fell three places short of the cut.
Stephen Concannon (Salle Dublin) made it through to the L16 with superb 5-1 and 5-0 victories over Candeias POR and Casares ESP. He fenced brilliantly against Honeybone GBR, reaching the break with a four-point lead. However, the momentum shifted in the second half and Stephen was unable to derail the British fencer’s comeback. Honeybone advanced 15-11.
Despite a close match against Kakhiani GEO, Szabina Matyas (Salle Dublin) closed the pools with no victories and was knocked out of the European qualifier. Of Szabina’s five pool opponents, three went on to finish with medals.
Image by Augusto Bizzi, for FIE