David Cook (davidcook) wrote,
David Cook

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Bristol Open ...

Right, about time I wrote about the weekend. Sunday was the Bristol Open for rwrylsin and I - she was doing the women's sabre, and has written about her day already. I did the men's epee, and it went like this :

There were 200 of us entered and present after check-in was done. That made for 32 pools, of which they'd squeezed 30 into the main gym hall at the venue. Fortunately, we'd arrived early enough to claim a bit of space for our bags and things, because the available floor space filled up very quickly once the competitors for women's epee (105 of them) and sabre (61) arrived.

The pool round ... was inconsistent. I lost the first bout 3-5, and another bout 4-5 that, arguably, I should have won. On the other hand, I beat the top seeded fencer in the pool 5-4, and beat the guy who'd, up to that point, won all his bouts in the pool, 5-0. One other 5-3 win left me with a fairly average pool result - 3 wins & 2 losses, and a low hit indicator.

It was enough to have me seeded 70th in the DE round of 128, having skipped the 25% cut after the pools, and the remaining bouts of the incomplete 256 (!). I was fencing the 59th-ranked fencer, and managed to grind out a win, eventually. It wasn't pretty, but I managed to get from a 2-4 deficit back to level around 10-all, then got one hit ahead and managed to stay there, to win 15-13. I knew what I wanted to do - my opponent kept straightening and drawing his arm back, in quite a rhythmic way, all I had to do was time my attacks on his arm (and leg for variety) just right. Execution was another matter, but I got just enough of them right to get the result I wanted.

On to the round of 64, where I was facing the 6th seed for the day, who is around 4th in the British rankings currently. I started positively, getting the first hit, then lost three in a row to very fast and accurate attacks from him. That set the tone for the bout, and I went down to 6-12 behind at one point, managed to claw back a few hits, and finished the bout with a 12-15 loss.

I ended up placing 52nd, so I will get some ranking points out of it. Overall, it was a reasonable result, considering the general lack of preparation that I've had. This weekend is the Highland Open, so with luck last weekend has brought me some form (and maybe a little fitness), and I'll see if I can improve on my previous two third places there.

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