Organisers declare inaugural fencing championships a ‘success’

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The inaugural National Fencing Championships held at the indoor volleyball facility at the YMCA Sports Complex over the weekend has been hailed a success by its organisers.
Technical director Rameez Mascall said however, there are some areas in need of improving ahead of next year’s event.
“[It] went pretty smoothly in terms of the format and of course, we will see where we can make improvements for the next competition but from a technical perspective, I am very pleased with the way the competition went,” he said.
“We can improve on equipment where we had quite a few equipment mishaps. It may be from a lack of tournament experience, where most of the times we are practicing [and] so we are not always using the scoreboard and everything; so doing that would be a plus for us in terms of [improving] the skills of even the refereeing of the tournament,” he added. 
In the Foil competition, Shounya Sheppard and Leandra Simon were first and second in the Beginners category for girls while Loxley Spencer captured the boys’ equivalent. Stanley Anthony finished second with Robert Auguiste taking the bronze medal finish.
Action continued in the Advanced category with Temesha Thomas, Deshanel David and Christopher Potter finishing first, second and third respectively. Marcel Maurice also landed a third place finish alongside Potter.
President of the Antigua & Barbuda Fencing Federation (ABFF) Kelesha Antoine, took comfort in the camaraderie exhibited by the participants throughout the competition.
“You could see the fighting spirit in them, but even though there was a fighting spirit you could still see them being there for each other, helping out each other, [coaching] each other on where they were going wrong. So, they were competing against each other but, at the same time, they were helping each other,” she said.
In the Epee competition, Sheppard dominated the Beginners category for girls with Simon once again, finishing as runner-up.
Cezar Freeland captured the Boys Beginners title ahead of Anthony and Auguiste. David dominated the Advanced category with Potter claiming the second spot. Thomas and Maurice were joint silver medallists.
Antoine said the Federation will now look to spread its wings.
“We were invited to the All Saints Secondary School so we will be doing some stuff there as well as going out to some primary schools [today]. There are also a lot of junior and cadet world championships that are being sent to us. So now we can now start sending them out to compete internationally and regionally as well,” the president said. 
Banana Bay Original, Backyard Records, Premier Beverages and the Antigua & Barbuda Volleyball Association sponsored the competition.

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