London 2012 Countdown: Richard Kruse is one of only two members of Team GB fencing team picked purely on merit
July 21st, 2012 at 8:39 pm
Richard Kruse is Team GB’s leading hope in the fencing – and he proved his credentials at the European Championships in Italy last month when he came home with a bronze medal.
Controversially, British Fencing selected eight of their 10 strong team by virtue of discretionary ‘wild cards’ when they took advantage of the host nation status that allows Team GB to ignore rankings and select any athlete they choose, even if they do not meet the qualification standard.
Natalia Sheppard qualified for the women’s foil on merit. But the rest of the team have been selected for London 2012 “with the sport’s longer term future in mind,” according to performance Manager Alex Newton.
In May four overlooked fencers – Jo Hutchison, Chrystall Nicoll, Alex O’Connell and Jon Willis – unsuccessfully appealed against the Team GB selection policy. Despite expressing strong reservations about the selection process, an independent panel ruled in favour of British Fencing.
Former British champion Keith Cook also appealed, claiming he was left out because the selectors said they did not know he wished to be considered. The 31-year-old Scot, who has beaten four of the world’s top 16 players and won five medals at Commonwealth Games, did fail to complete the registration process. But British Fencing’s David King insisted he was not selected because “he did not meet the grade.”
King added: ” We will continue to support his aspirations, he’s very talented, but not everyone gets to go to the Olympics.”
The full squad selected is:
Louise Bond-Williams – Women’s Sabre (age: 30, born: Cheltenham)
Sophie Williams – Women’s Sabre (age: 21, born: Rinteln, Germany)
James Davis – Men’s Foil (age: 20, born: Edgware)
James Honeybone – Men’s Sabre (age: 21, born: Truro, Cornwall)
Richard Kruse – Men’s Foil (age: 28, born: London)
Husayn Rosowsky – Men’s Foil (age: 21 born: Sheffield)
Corinna Lawrence – Women’s Epee (age: 21, born: Plymouth)
Natalia Sheppard – Women’s Foil (age: 28, born: Gdansk, Poland)
Anna Bentley – Women’s Foil (age: 31 born: Aberdeen)
Sophie Troiano – Women’s Foil (age: 25, born: London)
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