Gearing up for 2012
by Jo Hutchison - GB fencer (U10993971) 02 September 2008
I went to the Europeans before the Olympics started and it didn't go as well I as I had hoped
I didn't see any of Martina Emanuel's match in the foil but I have heard that tactically she got it a bit wrong as her opponent was a very defensive fencer and Martina tried lots of attacks.
For Alex O'Connell and Richard Kruse (sabre and foil respectively) both to lose out by one point must have been gutting, I know what it feels like, but to happen at the Olympics must have been even worse.
Alex fenced out of his skin to get 14 on his opponent who on paper should be beating him so I'm really proud of him - he even did the right thing on the last point but just got blocked out - fluke!!
I spoke to Alex at the weekend and he said his experience has been amazing.
Funding things are all a bit up in the air right now which is normal after an Olympic cycle, I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
For me, I went to the Europeans before the Olympics started and it didn't go as well I as I had hoped which was quite strange really.
I was physically and mentally well prepared (or so I thought) and was still quite high after my good result in Las Vegas.
Unfortunately I didn't win ANY fights which is probably my worst ever result.
I guess it just goes to show how up and down this sport is!
The team event was much better and we finished up seventh out of 11.
We had a very tough first round match against Romania whose ability does not match their world ranking - due to funding they have not done any team events this year.
I have just started back training...my coach said I was puffing like an old steam train!
My team-mates, Chrystall Nicoll, Louise Bond-Williams and I all fenced on top form and carried each other into each fight.
We lost to Ukraine, the host nation who eventually finished second and lost to Russia in another close match.
Our last match was against Germany for seventh or eighth place.
For some reason, even though it was quite close all the way, I didn't ever think we would lose, we just seem to have this confidence over Germany.
I was pleased to have finished the season fencing well for the team.
I also want to give a big up to Laurence Halsted who came second in the men's foil individual event. He was a true star and fenced better than I have ever seen him fence before!
I have just started back training again, slowly - mainly concentrating on getting my fitness levels back up and building up my strength.
I started taking lessons again on 1 September for the first time since July and I was surprisingly better that I thought I would be, although my coach said I was puffing like an old steam train!
I thought that was a little harsh.
I plan to do a few British and maybe French domestic competitions between now and Christmas just to keep everything ticking over as the International season will start again in February.
But the big goal is London 2012. London itself over the next four years is going to be an amazing city to be living in and is really going to transform.
I'm sure the time is going to fly past!
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