David Cook (davidcook) wrote,
David Cook

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Brief report on the Welsh Open ...

One-word summary of my Welsh Open : Unlucky.

Slightly-more-words summary : 66th of 189, after winning 5/losing 1 in the pool round (seeded 24th into the DE).

The story :
The day started out ok. We were staying at the Welsh Institute of Sport, and the competition was being held at ... the Welsh Institute of Sport, so getting to the sign-in on time was very easy. The pool round went quite well, only losing one bout (and thus ending up with scores of 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 against me, although not in that order on the pool sheet).
That put me equal 24th on the rankings going in to the DE. Unfortunately, this is where things started to go awry. The competition had 189 entries, so after eliminating 30-odd fencers, they still had to run an incomplete-256 elimination round. Between that and ... well, I'm not sure what else, but it was nearly three hours after I'd finished the pool round before I finally got my round-of-128 bout assigned. The next thing that went wrong was nerves ... mine, of course. This has happened before, most notably at the Leicester tournament last year where (coincidentally ?) there was a very long wait between the pool round and first DE bout. And to top it all off, I was having a lot of trouble figuring out my opponent's style. (Later discussions with both him and one of his clubmates suggest that he doesn't really have a style, just a random assortment of stuff that he does ... randomly, and fairly effectively). I got a few hits down, then clawed my way back to even at 7-all. Got a couple of hits down again, then finally started getting some double hits out of his fleche attacks, and got to 12-14 sometime in the second period. Do-or-die time, and I managed to get one hit back, to 13-14, and another - 14-all, and there was just a chance that I'd squeak through. But no! Another fleche attack and I didn't get out of the way, or get my point in his way, in time, and that was it, game over.
A very frustrating end to a day that had started out promisingly. As it turned out, my opponent was ranked 30th in the British rankings, so I don't know what he was doing down at 104th in the DE seedings !
Worse still, because I was exactly equal in 24th place, my actual DE position of 25th was effectively decided by a computerised coin-toss - I could just has easily have been seeded 24th and fenced someone ranked more like 130th or 230th in the British Rankings, instead of 30th. Definitely feeling unlucky after that (and seeing some of the "friendlier" DE draws that other people got into the last 64, 32 or even higher).
And to add insult to injury, since I did well in the Welsh last year, I've now lost a bunch of ranking points and will drop from 55th to somewhere in the 70s, maybe even 80s.

(at least we got to tourist around Cardiff for a few hours yesterday ... )

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