The senior women’s team secured a top 16 finish for the second time this season, having been bitterly disappointed to go out in the 32 in Plovdiv.
Here they are pausing to show their happiness at beating the higher ranked Romania for the second time this season.
You might ask why it is so important to get a top 16 finish. There are a number of reasons:
1 If you go out in the 32, that’s it. Pack up and go home. Once in the 16 all the places, including 3rd are fenced for.
2 If you make the 16 the points are much greater, leading to a possible higher seeding next time. You don’t want to be coming up against the top 2 seeds in the 16 every time! You’ll see the difference in the extract from the results for Athens. GBR got a valuable 18 points and Romania only 8. So that L32 match is worth at least a 10 point margin with the possibility of more.
3 Once in the 16 each team member (though possibly not the reserve, who still learns a huge amount from the process) gets to fence probably 3 matches – so 9 bouts against a variety of opponents at World level. This is absolutely invaluable, with the right coaching and team spirit, for development.
The team went into this competition with 71 points, and a World ranking of 21 with their 18 points from Tunis in 2019 due to expire which would put them right down the rankings.
Not fielding a team would have led to a loss of 18 points, taking GB down to 53 points, equating to 26th all other things being equal. This would have led to the team facing one of the top seeds in the L32 every time – a very tough task and a loss of all the good work done to date, despite little or no funding and despite not being able to compete in Budapest in March 21 due to a number of factors, not least of which being the lockdown and the geographic spread of the potential women’s team members at the time.
You can see where 53 points would place you from the pre Athens table below:
So if you would like to support the future of the young fencers coming through please donate so we can directly reduce their personal costs of competing for GB.
If you are at all moved to donate some funds to make it less of a burden to have the privilege to compete for GB as a team, please donate here or by going to the charity website.