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10 May 2017

Rising stars for King's Hall fencing

wo young fencers from King's Hall School have joined others from the South West at the British Fencing Championships over the last two weekends. Maisie Everett and Maya Penn have been fencing as part of King’s Hall School’s Fencing Club for the last two years and train weekly at school. Both girls now also attend local clubs with Maisie training at Wellington Swords and Maya at Phoenix Fencing.

For the U12 competition, Maisie Everett travelled to EIS Sheffield, representing the South West in both Foil and Epee after qualifying in January. On fire from the off in Foil, she only dropped one fight in the first poule, gaining her a bye into the Last 64. Continuing well after that and with an easy win she moved to the Last 16 where she lost 10-9 in a total nail-biter to the eventual bronze medallist - a girl she had beaten before. She ended up in 9th position overall which is a tremendous achievement: nationally ranked 9th in the UK still with another year to go in this age group. She also picked up the No.1 South West rank in the process!

In Epee, a newer weapon for Maisie, there was some good fencing - two wins in the first poule and some frustrating losses by only one point in the other fights. This did, however, affect her early ranking and with an unlucky draw in the direct eliminations against the No.7 seed she lost 10-7 - so she made her work for it! Her final position was 26th - still not too disappointing for a first outing. She attracted some really positive feedback from observers and some nice comments on her style. Back with a bite next year!

Maya Penn was one of 24 young fencers who competed in the British U10 Girls Foil Championships in Telford at the weekend. With representation from England, Wales and Scotland the six fencers from the South West were a strong contingent and Maya led the charge. Dropping only four points in the first round Maya looked on promising form and progressed to the second round with ease, seeded Number One. The second round required harder fencing but Maya dug deep and again won all her fights, dropping only seven points in the process which allowed her to retain her Number One ranking.

After a well-deserved rest, the direct elimination stage of the competition began and Maya benefitted from a bye in the first round (Last 32) where she was able to watch her opponents and plan her strategies! These fights to 10 hits are longer and harder than the poules and you need to work out your opponent's weakness and exploit them before they work out yours. Two good victories placed her into the final four where she faced an awkward left-hander. Maya fought hard but was unable to get round her opponent’s blade and break through her defence meaning that she didn't quite make it to the final this time.

A superb result and a bronze medal at her first Nationals for one of the South West’s youngest fencing stars.

For more information on local fencing clubs please search online for South West Fencing.

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