7 May 2012
Fencing - Public Schools National Championships
The fencing season finished on a high with participation in the Public School National Championships, held in Crystal Palace, London. It was the first time in 25 years that the school was present. Overall, 108 schools were represented. Physically and psychologically, it was a very demanding day with an average of 11 fights per fencer and lots of waiting in between them, but all the fencers were a credit to the school. In the senior foil category, 3 Norwich School pupils, Asher Girling (L6C), Laurence Liu (U6S) and Joss Thomas (U6C), were placed in the top 50 out of 150 competitors having advanced to direct elimination after winning their first two rounds. The junior épéeists were similarly successful, winning their two pools, only to be narrowly defeated in direct elimination: Calliste Fagard (U5V) came 40th out of 130. Special mention to the captain, Daniel Rossell-Evans (U5P) who, despite being quite ill, fenced with composure and accuracy. Unfortunately, he failed to reach the last 32 only losing 14-15 to a strong opponent.
However, the performances of the day were from Zoe Shipley (L5N) and Jack Watson (L6C). Zoe failed by a whisker to reach the last 8, only losing 14-15, and thus finishing 9th. Jack Watson was again in very impressive form. In the senior foil category, he only conceded 7 hits in his first 10 games. In the last 32, last 16 and the quarter finals, Jack qualified by an impressive margin thanks to his pace, precision and focus. In the semi- finals, he was leading 7-0 half-way through the match, but his opponent from Harrow School never lost faith and gradually came back. With 20 seconds remaining, it was 10-10. Unfortunately, Jack lost narrowly and quite controversially to the eventual winner of the competition. Jack won the bronze medal, but with a year in hand, we are hopeful of an even stronger result next year.
Well done to all fencers. Their team spirit and positive approach made it a very enjoyable day and very valuable experience.