British London 2012 fencing team is "the most talented" ever, says Kruse
Tuesday, 12 June 2012
June 12 - Richard Kruse, who will fence in his third Olympics this summer, said today that the British squad selected for this summer's Games was "the most talented team" he had ever fenced with.
Speaking at the announcement here of the three final selections for Team GB – Anna Bentley and Sophie Troiano in the women's foil and Husayn Rosowsky men's foil – which brings the total up to 10 plus two reserves in Martina Emanuel and Laurence Halsted – Kruse said: "Competing at the Athens and Beijing Games were the best moments of my life.
"To be able to stand on the podium with a medal would be an almost unbelievable feeling."
Kruse, a World Cup silver medallist last year whose eighth place finish at Athens 2004 was the best British result in Olympic fencing since 1964, added: "This is the most talented team I have ever fenced with over the last 10 years and I am really confident we will finish on the podium in 2012."
In the last three years British Fencing have won 13 World Cup medals and claimed four European Championship podium places, including Britain's first major championships team medal in three decades.
Team GB will compete in all three fencing disciplines – epee, foil and sabre – on the Olympic programme, at ExCeL in London Docklands.
Completing the women's foil team, Bentley (pictured above), Great British national champion for three consecutive years, has been selected alongside Troiano.
In the men's category, British champion Rosowsky is the only male addition to the squad.
The seven fencers already selected to Team GB are Louise Bond-Williams – women's sabre, James Davis – men's foil, James Honeybone – men's sabre, Richard Kruse – men's foil, Corinna Lawrence – women's epee, Natalia Sheppard – women's foil and Sophie Williams – women's sabre.
"I am delighted to welcome the final three fencers to Team GB, which completes our 10-strong squad for the London 2012 Olympics, which is seven more than we had in Beijing," Team GB Chef de Mission Andy Hunt said.
"The talent within the squad is extremely exciting, and our British fencers have made excellent progress since Beijing 2008, winning 13 World Cup medals and claiming four European Championship podium places.
"Our 10 fencers will compete across all three Olympic categories, and will be looking to win Britain's first Olympic medal since Tokyo 1964.
"They will feel the full support of the nation when competing at the London 2012 Olympics at the ExCeL Centre, and I am fully confident they will give their all and deliver truly memorable performances while representing Team GB."
British Fencing performance manager Alex Newton said: "I am delighted that the BOA (British Olympic Association) have confirmed the final three host nation places and the two reserves for the men and women's foil teams.
"We have a really strong team and I am confident that they will fulfil their exciting potential in London.
"Now that the final team has been confirmed, I am looking forward to working with the athletes, coaches and support staff to ensure that we are fully focused on maximising our performances as we enter these final critical stages of our preparation."
Troiano said: "I feel extremely proud to have been selected as part of the Team GB fencing team for the Games this summer.
"As a team our performances have been consistently improving over the past year and to be given the chance to show how far we have come on the Olympic stage is a huge privilege."
Her words were echoed by Bentley, who said: "I am absolutely delighted about being selected today, it is the culmination of many years of hard work, sacrifices and it really is a dream that has become a reality.
"I can't wait to compete in front of a home crowd and help the team achieve a personal best performance at the Olympic Games."
Rosowsky (pictured above, right) added: "It is a great honour to be selected for the London 2012 Olympics.
"The opportunity to compete in front of a home crowd will make a massive difference to our chances.
"I'm not here just to make up the numbers, I fence because I want to win and there's no bigger prize than an Olympic medal."
June 2012: British fencing selection for London 2012 hit by controversy