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Gearing up for 2012

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Jo Hutchison


My big goal is for London 2012 and now Beijing is out of the way, it will be much easier to focus on that picture.

I watched the Olympics opening ceremony at work with my colleagues and was blown away by the spectacle, I imagine the atmosphere in the Bird's Nest was totally out of this world.

The fencing events were held in the first week and even though I was just sitting in front of my laptop at 3am hoping to catch some fencing on one of the live feed channels, it seemed like a awesome venue and great atmosphere.

My event, the women's sabre was first up and even though USA won gold, silver and bronze for the first time I was not totally surprised.

They all had potential to win and have shown it all season.

I would have liked to have seen some French at the top there but they had a very very disappointing trip.

And China's Tan Xue, who was the favourite to win, looked very strong at the start but maybe buckled under the pressure, who knows, it's a crazy event!

I had a feeling that Ukraine would take the gold in the team; they are a good team and work really well together, it's not just about having three amazing individuals as you can see by the US taking bronze and in women's foil the Italians taking bronze too.

It was a really close women's sabre team final which makes it even more exciting as you have no idea who is going to win!

I thought our three British Olympians were very unlucky.

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 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!


Latest 10 comments

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posted Sep 4, 2008

as I understand it, richard kruse only just lost after an long, epic match against the olympic gold medal favourite, who was so exhausted by the match that he lost the next bout
martin westbrook

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posted Sep 4, 2008

I am heavily involved in fencing for the 2012 Olympics. To date my company has erected 8.3 miles of the stuff.

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posted Sep 10, 2008

Hi Simon, great post, just wondering wether the fencing will be wood or metal fencing?

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comment by U12679782

posted Sep 12, 2008

Hi Jo, have you been watching any of the paralympic fencing?

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posted Sep 12, 2008

Fencing sure is fascinating and it's a real shame it's not broadcast as much as other sports. I have enjoyed following your journey on this site and I wish you more success in the future.

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posted Sep 17, 2008

I have to agree with Majestic - after a hell of a lot of searching I have eventually found *some* of the fencing shown on the BBC sport site but the amount shown by the BBC is truly useless! Nothing on iPlayer, nothing (until recently) on BBC Sport, nothing on the Olympics site, nothing on the BBC Olympic site. Nothing, in fact, anywhere public.

Yes, fencing is a smaller audience sport but surely it can still be put on-line, even if there is no time to show it on mainstream or even digital channels? Right now I have exactly the same problem getting hold of video for the wheelchair fencing which has still not made an appearance anywhere.

You'd almost think it was some sort of conspiracy....

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comment by Waint (U6845514)

posted Sep 17, 2008

Thanks for your article, I work with the mum of one of the British mens champions (sorry I cant remember if it was foil or epee) and he has just had his funding cut and has decided to call it a day. Its such a shame that you dont get more money from the kitty. I wish you well and hope you get the funding that you deserve.

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posted Sep 21, 2008

GOOD LUCK JO, hope things work out 4 you smiley

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posted Nov 16, 2009

Best wishes for success in the training and preparation. This is where you need to put the GREAT effort! Many many years ago I had fencing friends from England and had enjoyed training in Israel with them at the first Andrei Spitzer fencing tournament. Last summer I enjoyed watching the summer olympics from Beijing- my brother was one of the US coaches and it was great to watch his fencer on the big screen tv in our home. My husband was able to link through the computer to get some sort of special live showing. It was unfortunate even as women's gold - silver and bronze victories for the USA where the first big prizes and such a big step for US fencing, the popular media did such little coverage of the fencing!

Well... 2012 should be a fantastic year... I hope to be there to watch... and GOOD preparation for all the fencers and success!

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