July 15th, 2008


British Champs ...

Well ... after coming 3rd at the Scottish Championships, I thought it would be a delightful irony to be an Australian winning (or getting a medal) at the British Championships too ... but it didn't happen, alas. I came equal 59th out of 112, not a bad result, but not great either, which about sums up the way I was fencing.

In the pool round, I wasn't quite all there, and didn't really fence my best[1] - not least in two bouts where I was 3-1 and 4-2 up, respectively, before losing both. Or the bout where I was 0-4 down before I figured out the correct strategy to use, losing 3-5. Or the bout I lost 1-5 to someone I regularly fence in Scotland and normally get much closer to (to be fair, he had a very good day, and had the narrowest loss to the eventual winner and British no. 1 in the L32).
So, I was seeded 72nd in the round of 128 DE phase.

The DE bout started badly too - near the end of the first period, I was 3-9 down.
I finally started moving and reacting a bit better at the end of the period, with the help of some yelling and bouncing around, and caught up a couple of hits to finish 5-9 down before the rest minute. In the second period, I was fencing much better, and traded hits for a while to reach 11-14 down - and then went on to win, 15-14 ! Poor rwrylsin, who had been watching me fence, was a nervous wreck by this stage, and I wasn't much better, so I went off and rested for a while in preparation for the next bout.

The next bout started much better than the previous one - I was 4-2 up at the first break, and tied at 7-all by the second one, but I lost a few hits early in the third period, and couldn't find consistent ways through my opponent's defences before the end, finishing at 11-15.

I have to wonder what might have been if our car hadn't broken down last Tuesday, meaning that we had to hire a car on Friday evening, and also disrupting my sleep pattern on a week where I was on the slightly-early shift at work (7:30 - 3:30). Stress and lack of sleep seem to make for a bad combination before a fencing tournament. Oh well, on to the next one (sometime in September, after the China trip. Eeek, we're going to China in 18 days !).

[1] We arrived at the outskirts of Sheffield at around 11:15pm - and then didn't find the hotel until 1am. Absolute nightmare trying to find out where we were and where the hotel was and how to navigate the obligatory mediaeval-patterned maze of twisty streets. Finally got to bed around 1:30am, not what I was looking for with a 7am start.
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