David Cook (davidcook) wrote,
David Cook

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Stockholm, part 2 - the fencing

So, after an eventful trip over, I got about 5 hours sleep before having to wake up and get myself along to check-in for the fencing (although I think something got lost in translation, I thought check-in was closing at 9:00, but quite a few people checked in after that and they made their final calls at around 9:30). The first round of pools started just after 10, and I ended up in a pool of 6, with three Swedes, a Finn, and a Russian. I didn't start very well, losing 1-5 to the Finn and 0-5 to the Russian, but managed to pick up a bit after that - won the next two bouts 5-4 and 5-1, and while I lost the last one 4-5, I'd been fencing well, and I did lose a point by backing off the end of the piste (d'oh !). That left me about 62nd (of 100) going in to the second round of pools.
There I had a pool of 7, with Finland, Sweden, Poland and Estonia all represented. I had a narrow loss to begin (clawed my way back to 4-4 after being 2-4 down), then a comfortable win (5-1) and a close win (5-4). After that, things stopped going my way, though, losing the next two 4-5, and then the last one 0-5. So, I'd avoided the cut (the top 80 going through to the DE), being ranked 68th, but I was going to have to work very hard to get anywhere in the tournament.
The first DE bout was against a Norwegian - as it turns out, he's ranked 77th in the world, and got a 3rd place at one of last year's A-grades. I got the first hit ... and it was all downhill from there. He was very tidy, fairly quick, left-handed, quite relentless, and I just couldn't land a thing on him. Finished the bout 3-15, and wandered away feeling quite bewildered. I often go away from lost DE bouts feeling angry at myself, usually because of nerves catching up with me and stopping me from putting in my best performance, but that wasn't really the case this time - in retrospect, I could have taken a different strategy for the bout, but I'm not convinced that it would have made any difference to the outcome. I was simply outclassed, which is the first time in a long time that I've felt that after a bout (I normally feel like I've got a good chance against anyone, even if the results don't always seem to bear that out).
So, that was my Stockholm tournament - in discussions with the three British fencers there at dinner on Saturday night, we agreed that this is the toughest of the Satellites, and probably tougher than most (maybe all) of the British tournaments too. I think I'd only do next year's event if I manage to get regular lessons during this year, and get to more than one training session a week, and keep going to the gym regularly - otherwise I won't be in the same league.

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