I'm ready for my third Olympic gold medal, says world number one fencer
Monday, 02 April 2012
April 2 - American fencer Mariel Zagunis is hoping to pick up her third consecutive Olympic gold medal after qualifying for London 2012.
She picked up a bronze medal at the Moscow Grand Prix last month to secure a place at London and is now back in Portland training for the World Team Championships in Kiev, Ukraine, later this month.
Zagunis's performance also restored her to the position of world number one.
"I am happy and relieved that the qualifying period is over and I can officially say that I am headed to London for my third Olympics," Zagunis told USA Fencing.
"It is an amazing feeling not only to qualify, but to know that I will be representing Team USA and in a few months will be fencing for my third consecutive gold medal."
Zagunis has now medalled in three out of four tournaments so far this season but believes there is "a lot" to do to improve her performances.
"To fence and perform well in a competition requires a delicate balance mentally, physically and emotionally," she said.
"Since the Worlds I have been working on finding and keeping that balance and making sure I can retain it throughout the season and on through London."
The 27-year-old has the experience needed to keep her feet on the ground and is only thinking about helping the sabre team pick up a medal in Kiev.
"It will be important for us to prepare and train together, because it will be good for our team dynamic and motivation," said Zagunis, who won gold in the individual sabre at Athens in 2004 and Beijing 2008.
"During this camp [Portland] we will fence a lot with each other, but more importantly we will be focusing on our tactics and strategy for approaching other teams.
"In the most recent World Cup in Antalya we had a great result with second place and fenced strong teams like Italy and Ukraine really well.
"I think this camp will benefit us a great deal and I am really looking forward to competing with my teammates in Kiev."