It was a crisp Saturday morning as a group of Imperial fencers headed out to St Paul’s School Sports Hall for the London Team Trophy. The number of entries for the competition was its highest ever, with 16 epee teams, 16 foil teams and 12 sabre teams, making the competition the second biggest team event in the country after the National Championships. Representing Imperial were three full teams. In foil: Imperial 1st with Ed Collier, Chris Gilliam, Outi Supponen and Robert Shaw. In epee: Imperial 1st consisting of Ed Gilhead, Marcello Colombino and Miles Gandolfi and Imperial 2nd with Thorsten Hamann, Charlotte Levin and Peter Cronbach. In both weapons, we had previous year’s results to defend, gold for the foil team and silver for epee.
In the epee, Imperial 1st won all their matches in the first round without much trouble, while in the foil Imperial 1st also kept their level high with the same result. Imperial 2nd epee lost one out of three matches and won the rest with a comforting margin. All teams easily qualified for the quarterfinal knock out rounds.
In the quarterfinal draw for the epee, Imperial 1st were faced once again with a young ULU team they had meet in the first round and Imperial 2nd was up against a team called “+39”, a hint that the entire team originated from Italy. Imperial 2nd unfortunately had to admit themselves defeated by the skilled Italians. Though the sad faces did not last for long as Imperial 1 methodically made their way to the final, convincingly beating +39 in the semis. In the final they faced Brixton, a strong team of young fencers. The match was even, swaying back and through all the way to the last period where Imperial showed the value of experience and keeping their nerves under control to win the match and clinch gold.
Meanwhile, in another hall, the foil team was presenting results similar to the first team epeeists. They cruised their way to victory in both quarterfinal and semi-final, but were defeated in the final by Salle Paul EU, a very strong team from one of the country’s top clubs. This was a small let down compared to last year, when they had won gold, but they at least had the honour to have the President of British Fencing, Keith Smith, as a referee in the last match. When we left the hall at the end of the day, after prize ceremony and high-fives, we were all tired but happy off to enjoy the delights of Halloween.
by Charlotte Levin.
(For a video of the Foil final see http://vimeo.com/16367927 )