Chichester fencers through to British youth finals

Some of the qualifying Chichester fencers
Some of the qualifying Chichester fencers

Chichester Fencing Club will represent the south east at next month’s British Youth Fencing Championships in Sheffield in all three weapons.

Twelve fencers fought for places to represent the region in foil in the qualifier at Burgess Hill.

Rosie Whittaker (girls’ under-12); Ben Gray and Eric Kim (boys’ under-12); Gregory Butcher and Harry Gray (boys’ under-14); Rhianna Batchelor and Tara Sallaba (girls’ under-14); Max Hooper, Oscar Pickering and Tom Raymond-Wells (boys’ under-16); Alex Jolley (boys’ under-18) and Charlotte Beadle (girls’ under-18) were representing Chichester.

All fenced with determination and skill, some in their very first competition, and were a credit to the club.

Oscar O’Hara and Isaac Jolley have already secured their places in the championships after a successful year representing their country. Joining them will be Tom Raymond Wells and Oscar Pickering, who fenced exceptionally well to finish third and fifth in the most hotly-contested event of the day.

Also qualifying in fabulous style are three new south-east champions – gold-medal winners Charlotte Beadle, Tara Sallaba and Harry Gray.

Now the really hard work begins!

Coach Sharon Blackman

Beadle comfortably took the title while Sallaba and Gray were both in devastating form and absolutely smashed their way to victory.

The sabre and epee qualifying events took place on one very long day at Whitgift School, Croydon.

In the morning’s sabre events, Freya Jenkins qualified in bronze position for the under-14 girls’ event in her first major competition.

Archie Evans took bronze in the boys’ under-16 sabre. He went on to compete in the under-16 boys’ epee along with Josh Briffett. They both fenced brilliantly in challenging conditions, but narrowly missed taking one of the four qualifying places – Briffett finishing seventh and Evans fifth.

Chichester’s Robin Elliot has already qualified for the epee after coming top eight in the championship last year. Joining him will be under-18 foil champion Beadle, a wonderfully-elegant fencer, who took the bronze medal in the epee qualifier and will be representing her region in both foil and epee, a fantastic result.

It all means Chichester Fencing Club will send 11 fencers to the British championships in May. Coach Sharon Blackman congratulated the youngsters while reminding them: “Now the really hard work begins!”

If you would like to try fencing, call coach Sharon Blackman on 01243 822753 or email: