Plymouth Fencing Club youngsters dominate at South West championships
PLYMOUTH Fencing Club's young blades were at their sharpest in winning a clutch of medals at the South West Championships in Somerset.
The city club came away from the Millfield School-staged age group event with a whopping 17 qualifiers for the epée National Championships to be held at Sheffield in early May.
The youngsters will represent the South West at the English Institute of Sport on the first weekend in May.
Leading the charge for coach Andy Hill's fencing club were Plymouth College's gold medal-winning trio Yasmine Fosu, Josh Helling and Tim Andrews.
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Fosu topped the podium in the under-14 girls' event, Hellings in the under-14 boys' category and Andrews in the under-16 boys.
The competition completed a double celebration for Fosu, who in addition to winning the epée event, won the foil qualifier last month.
There were silver medals for Devonport High School for Girls' student Taylor Ashby (U12 girls) and Plymouth College pair Alice Simmonds (U14 girls), and Benjamin Andrews (U12 boys).
Bronze medals were won by Wembury's U12 fencer Emma Andrews, Maddy Lee (DHSG) and Catherine Bishop (Plymouth College) both in under-14 girls' event.
Also returning with bronze medals and an invite to the finals were Wing-Kwan Yuen and Chloe Hamilton (both Plymouth College) in the U16 girls discipline.
Devonport High School for Boys' Alex Sells and Josh Wrigley, plus Piers Dupre-Thomas, of Plymouth College, also medalled and qualified for the nationals on May 4-5 in South Yorkshire.
Wembury's Theo Wrigley, too, qualified in fifth place and will join his team-mates at the championships.
Tia Simms-Lymn, as Great Britain U14 champion and GB pentathlete Kerenza Bryson, a bronze medallist at the 2012 National Championships both receive byes to this year's finals.
Simms-Lymn will also fence in the foil event in Sheffield after finishing third at last year's nationals.
Former Great Britain coach Hill was delighted with his Plymouth's success and put his charges' achievements into perspective.
Hill said: "Millfield are traditionally our fiercest rivals and had six qualifiers.
"Naturally we are really pleased with the results."