Hereward College News

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Jamie Hamilton - Pre Paralimpic Test Event

Friday 25th November, , Eight of the country's best fencers were selected to take part in a
Pre Paralympic Test Event, at the actual venue where the Paralympic & Olympic fencing will take place (Excel London). We were treated like stars from the moment we arrived at the 4 * hotel on the Thursday night. On the day of the event we arrived there early to get our official passes and get signed in.
There was loads of willing volunteers there to assist our every whim and need! We practically had to lift a finger throughout the day.
The competition itself was split into a team and individual event for foil weapon and individual competition for sabre. I had prepared well for the event during the weeks previously and felt really good and up for the competition.
My first fight in the individual foil competition was against one of the top 3 women and beat her 5-2, the following fight was against the ladies number 1 and lost to her 5-2, I then fought the ladies number 2 and beat her 5-3 I won my next two fights quite comfortably against two of the upcoming male fencers. My final fight was against the ladies number 4 and beat her 5-4. Which put me in 2nd place for the foil, my best result to date!
In the team event I was put with the top two foil fencers in GB. It was my first team event and was gruelling, with both teams evenly matched.. We went into the final round of matches down 40-39. Both of the final fencers were fencing brilliantly and with one point to go the score was tied at 44 each. Our team captain pulled out a speedy attack and won the final match 45-44!
In the afternoon I took part in the sabre and won my first fight against one of the rising male fencers and beat him convincingly 5-1, my next fight was against the current number 1 class B fencer and matched him point for point right up to the final point and he beat me 5-4! my next fight was against another experienced male fencer and this time my concentration lapsed and I made a shambles of the fight losing 5-1. Going into my final fight I was up against the current number male fencer, who I had previously always lost to convincingly on every occasion, But I was feeling confident, calm and relaxed and went into a 3-0 lead. My opponent then pulled some very good shots out and brought it back to 4-3. I guess I tried to hard at this point and lost the next point making it 4-4. With the final point I had seconds to think about what to do and decided to go for a a feint attack, however my opponent had other ideas and went for the simple option and went straight through the middle, hitting me milliseconds before I hit him ! I lost the fight but coming 2nd wasn't a bad result under the circumstances and has spurred me on to do better as I can see I'm not too far away from the top now and know exactly what I have to do to win next time.
All in all it was a good day and having seen the venue and knowing what it will look like and feel like when the Paralympics comes around, has encouraged me to go for my dream even more. The only thing missing was the crowds, and their cheering and encouragement should give any of the GB fencers an added advantage., Just being in the same hall on Friday gave me a fantastic buzz and almost had tears in my eyes! Who knows what I'll be like if I get to be there next year!!

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