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Stratford fencer Olympios Gougoulias claims bronze and silver at the British Championships

STRATFORD GBR fencer Olympios Gougoulias has added to his growing medal haul this season with a bronze and a silver at the British Championships in Sheffield over the weekend.

The 22-year-old fought off tough competition from the top 50 sabreurs in the country to claim third place in the senior men’s event pushing to sixth in the British rankings. Twenty-four hours later he was back on piste with three fellow Shakespeare Swords fencers to claim the silver in the team event.

It was a good weekend all round for the KES-based club with eight fencers having qualified for what is the premier event in the UK fencing calendar. Fellow GBR squad members Barnaby Halliwell and Louis Bedford finished sixth and 16th respectively, with Sophia Potter coming ninth in the women’s competition. Other places were: Elliot Baxter 19th, Liam Croft 21st, Ryuki Hiyama 32nd and Ryan Olsson 38th.

Fencer Olympios Gougoulias.
Fencer Olympios Gougoulias.

Gougoulias said: “To make the podium in the individual event was amazing, definitely one of my career best results to date. And going back the next day with my Stratford teammates for silver was very special, probably my best team result since getting gold in the Commonwealth Juniors.”

The success comes only weeks after winning gold at another top domestic tournament, the Birmingham International. But things were not looking so optimistic earlier in the season when the economics student broke his hand in training.

“I was not even sure I would make it to the British Championships,” he said. “It has taken a lot of hard work by myself, the coaches and physios to get back to full fitness.”

He added: “Overall it has been a great season for me to date with two gold, one silver and one bronze at major domestic tournaments and call ups to represent GBR in Belgium, Turkey, France, Georgia, Italy and Hungary.”

And things are looking promising amongst the next generation of fencers at the Swords. Sixteen-year-old Henry Pick is just back from Saudi Arabia where he finished 77th in the World Cadet Championships. Ryuki Hiyama, 19, came 67th in the junior event.

Also, five young club fencers medalled at the Leon Paul Junior Series Laertes Revenge competition at the weekend. They were: Under 14 – Innes Ireland gold and Louis Welzel bronze; Under 12 – William Thomas gold; Under 10 – Victor Liddor gold and Tyler Li bronze.

Coach Chris Buxton said: “It has been a great season for us so far. We are achieving great results across the board domestically and internationally at all levels from Under 10s right the way up to our veterans.”

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