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Sharp display at fencing champs

PUBLISHED: 16:26 20 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:48 05 October 2010

By JONATHAN CLEGG YOUNGSTERS from Tower Hamlets defied the odds to produce a series of impressive performances at the London Youth Fencing Championships, which were held in the borough on Saturday. The qualifying rounds for the national tournament were h

By JONATHAN CLEGG

YOUNGSTERS from Tower Hamlets defied the odds to produce a series of impressive performances at the London Youth Fencing Championships, which were held in the borough on Saturday.

The qualifying rounds for the national tournament were held at Mulberry School for Girls, Commercial Road, where a dozen local entrants made light of their inexperience by achieving a number of top displays.

The sport has been introduced to the borough by Fighting Fit Fencing, an organisation which aims to teach fencing to inner-city youngsters and is currently operating in more than 30 schools in Tower Hamlets.

Despite training for just a matter of weeks, the borough's participants proved more than a match for some of London's most experienced fencers.

Jed Beardmore, co-owner of Fighting Fit Fencing, said: "All of the local youngsters competed and fenced exceptionally well. Some of them managed to get victories and all of them managed to score hits, which is outstanding given their limited experience.

"Some of the most respected and highly qualified coaches in the country said to me they couldn't tell they had been fencing only for a matter of weeks and they were really impressed by their guts and determination."

Ibrahim Ceylan was the star of the local contingent, finishing an outstanding 17th in the Under-14 boys' foil - traditionally the most competitive event in the competition.

"Ibrahim was up against children with six or seven years' experience but he came very close to qualifying for the national finals," Beardmore said.

Peter Shi Kaepu and Ashky Dundford-Tagg also excelled in the Under-12 boys' foil, finishing 32nd and 38th respectively, while Paige Turner secured a 17th-place finish in the Under-12 girls' foil.

For more details on getting involved with Fighting Fit Fencing, call 0207 272 6246 or visit www.fighting-fit-fencing.com.

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