Swords are looking sharp on the international scene

PUBLISHED: 17:00 11 October 2012

Pictured (left to right): Linda Strachan (Swords Manager), Rajan Rai, James Page, Jai Birch, Kamal Minott and Pierre Harper (Swords Coach)

Pictured (left to right): Linda Strachan (Swords Manager), Rajan Rai, James Page, Jai Birch, Kamal Minott and Pierre Harper (Swords Coach)


Newham Swords fencers and Great Britain under-17 Internationals, Rajan Rai and Jai Birch got the second and third best GB results at the Manchester under-17 International meeting recently.

The event took place at the Bolton Arena and the result for the duo means they are now currently placed at number two and three respectively in the GB under-17 rankings, and are in contention for the GB squad which will compete in Halle, Germany next month.

Other outstanding success on the day came from England under-15 International Kamal Minott.

Minott achieved a personal best of 17th place, and fifth best GB result in a strong international event which had a total of around 200 competitors.

That result also puts the 15-year-old in contention for Halle, a performance which delighted head coach Pierre Harper.

“I am extremely proud of the fact that Newham Swords had three of the top five placed Brits in the Manchester International,” he said. “Kamal’s result is outstanding given that he was one of the youngest competitors in a very strong under-17 International.”

Rai, Birch and Minott will now compete in the second GB qualifier of the season, the London Foil Tournament, which takes place at St. Pauls School.

The results from this tournament and from the Manchester meeting will then be used to select the GB under-17 squad for Halle.

Swords have only ever had two qualify for the national team, but manager Linda Strachan is hopeful all three will make the squad.

“We have already managed to get two Newham Swords fencers to an U17 Men’s Foil International last season but have never had three qualify,” said Strachan.

“Let’s hope that Rai, Birch and Minott maintain their good form and qualify for Halle.”

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Newham Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Newham Recorder