Newham Swords celebrate call-ups
17:00 24 February 2014
Youngsters in GB squad for European Championships
Newham Swords had double reason to celebrate as two of their young fencers were named in the GB squad for the European Cadet & Junior Championships in Israel.
Katrina Feklistova and Kamal Minott, both 16, are part of a 41-strong party that will travel to Jerusalem with high hopes of bringing back medals.
Feklistova only started fencing two years ago but won bronze at the recent GB Under-17 Championships and said: “As it’s my last year in this age group, it feels great to have qualified for Euros.
“I’ve never travelled anywhere as far as Israel before so it should be a fun new experience.
“I find it really enjoyable and have met some amazing people whilst also getting the opportunity to visit many different countries.”
Minott began fencing aged 11, after trying several other sports, and is coached by former GB Olympians Linda Strachan and Pierre Harper.
The Rainham youngster won the GB Under-17 men’s foil at UEL Sportsdock recently and said: “I have not qualified for the Europeans before. Currently my favourite saying for how I felt when I qualified derived from the infamous Mahatma Gandhi: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.’
“This one step brings me closer to achieving my ultimate goal of competing in the Olympic Games.”
Joanna Cook, British Fencing’s Head of Pathway Development, said; “Katrina is a solid competitor and fantastic athlete. On her day she can beat anyone.
“Kamal is a contender at this level. His fifth place finish at last year’s Manchester International clearly shows he has a medal chance.
“We have a strong group competing at under-17 and under-20 levels. We expect to return home with some good top-eight finishes and if fencers get that far they are only one victory away from a guaranteed medal.”