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Fencer lands Easter gold at leading tournament

STRATFORD’S Olympios Gougoulias struck gold over Easter winning one of the UK's top fencing competitions - the men's sabre event at the Birmingham International Fencing Tournament.

And the 22-year-old economics student was not the only fencer from the town to find form on the piste at the competition with Shakespeare Swords teammate Louis Bedford claiming bronze, Barnaby Halliwell finishing seventh and Liam Croft 20th.

Gougoulias said: “This is always a tough competition attracting some of the best fencers on the domestic and international circuits. I was really pleased how I performed and was delighted to walk away with the top prize.”

Fencer Olympios Gougoulias
Fencer Olympios Gougoulias

The victory was particularly sweet as the fencer has only recently returned from injury.

He added: “The season started well for me with a good run of placements, including winning another of the premier events of the season, the Welsh Open. I had climbed up the GBR rankings and firmly established my place in the main men's GBR sabre squad, in what is only my second year at senior level. Then a tiny fracture in my hand put me out of action for two months, forcing me to miss key international pre-Olympic events in France and Tunisia.

“Although having fenced over the last few weeks for GBR in Italy, Georgia and Hungary, this is my first win since returning and hopefully sets me up for a strong end to the season.”

Gougoulia now has his sights set on doing well at the National Championships later this month and GBR selection for World Cups in Japan and Spain as well as the Under 23 European Championships in Turkey this summer.

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