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Finchley's Richard Kruse and Edgware's James Davis confirmed in Team GB fencing squad for London 2012
10:10am Thursday 7th June 2012 in Sport
Richard Kruse has his sights set firmly on the gold medal after his place at London 2012 was officially confirmed.
The Finchley competitor was one of seven fencers to be named last week by the British Olympic Association (BOA) as a representative for Team GB this summer, with the British squad set to take part in all three of the sport’s disciplines – epee, foil and sabre.
Eight years ago in Athens, the 28-year-old became the first British foilist to reach the quarter finals since 1964, and has performed well since his last Olympic outing in Beijing.
In 2009 he scooped a World Cup gold medal and a European Fencing Championships silver before finishing second at the World Cup in Seoul last year, but he is now focused on the top prize.
He told the Team GB website: “This will be my third Olympics and it’s so special that it’s in London. Qualification was only job one. My focus is now fully on achieving my life’s dream, Olympic gold.
“We won the team competition at the test event in November last year so we already have had a great experience at ExCel. Myself and the team will be working hard to repeat that in just over 50 days.
“My thanks go to British Fencing and our sponsors for their continued support, UK Sport for their funding and the BOA for selecting me. I will do everything to repay your backing at London 2012.”
Kruse qualified for the London Games through his world ranking, while Natalia Sheppard earned her place through the European Zonal event.
The other five members were selected utilising host nation places, and Kruse will not be the only north Londoner in action.
Edgware’s James Davis will also compete in the men’s foil after the 20-year-old was nominated to the BOA for selection by British Fencing, the national governing body for the sport in the UK.
The Barnet-born star is the only British fencer to ever medal at the Cadet European Championships and forms part of the seven-strong squad named so far, with a further three athletes to be named at a later date.
Team GB Chef de Mission Andy Hunt said: “The fencing squad announced today has a good balance of youth and experience. It is exciting to select four fencers aged 21 and under.
“These young athletes have a great opportunity to compete at an Olympic Games in the early stages of their career and their potential bodes well for the future of British fencing.
“I am sure that each athlete selected today will deliver a very credible and competitive performance at London 2012, and that the experience of competing in the Olympic Games will benefit them greatly in furthering their international fencing careers.”
British Fencing Performance Manager Alex Newton added: “I think that we have a really well balanced team and I am delighted to be leading such a dedicated and talented group of athletes.
“I have every confidence that each member of the Team will deliver a very competitive and credible performance at London 2012.
“For the younger athletes, the experience of competing in the Olympic Games will also benefit them greatly for Rio and beyond.”
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