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Fencer opts for Italian job over graduation

SOPHIA Potter flies to Italy tomorrow (Friday) to take part in fencing’s World Championships.

And it means the Studley fighter, a member of Stratford Swords, will miss her graduation having just completed her masters.

The 23-year-old is among the 24 GB fencers heading to Milan where she will be taking part in the sabre competition against the world’s best as they look to secure qualification in next year’s Paris Olympics.

Fencer Sophia Potter is taking part in the World Championships in Italy
Fencer Sophia Potter is taking part in the World Championships in Italy

She said: “I’m getting all the training in I can at the moment down in London at the Leon Paul Fencing Centre before I leave. I’m over in Italy for nine days when I’ll be fencing in the individuals and team events.

“I’ve heard that it is going to be a big event because loads of fencers will be trying to qualify for the Olympics next year. There are three weapons – sabre, foil and epee – and there will be men and women competing in each of them along with all the team events so it is sure to be massive. Also, I hear that they have been advertising the championships for a few months in Milan so there could be quite a few people there.

“I’ve been to Italy before but this will be my first time in Milan so it’s going to be quite exciting. Hopefully we will get one or two days of down time between the events.

“I was due to graduate from Buckinghamshire New University from my masters in design innovation. Ideally it would have been good to attend both but the university have kindly allowed me and a few others to graduate in February so I will get the chance to do so eventually.

“It was a disappointment when the dates clashed but there was no way I was going to miss the Worlds as this is such a big opportunity for me. At least I can still get all the photos and have a nice occasion with my family next year.”

Potter is now in her third year of senior fencing although one was written off due to Covid. And she explained that she is no stranger to the world stage.

She added: “This will be my second World Championships, I fenced last year in Cairo, Egypt. I also went to the Europeans last year in Turkey and I went to the Europeans this year which were staged in Hungary.

“I’m just going to go out there and do my best. I feel ready and I just want to make everyone proud. It will be a good experience and every experience helps you to grow as a person and as a fencer.”

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