“The last year and a half of my life has been spent training in Germany in the lead up to the Olympic qualifying event with a short hiatus during which time I went home, to Truro, during the first Covid-19 lockdown. When I returned to Germany in September 2020, I was fortunate enough to be able to train with the national team and prepare for the last Olympic qualification event. My training in the lead up to this Olympic zonal event couldn’t have been much better, except for the enforced break of course.
The event was held in Madrid, and with only one competition prior to this event, I didn’t feel as prepared as I had been the previous year before the pandemic. Unable to go anywhere or find anything to easily distract myself while under 12–hour quarantine in the hotel, awaiting clear Covid test results, it was difficult to think of anything other than the competition.
The competition format was different to usual, as I had a bye through the poule stages and the first direct elimination, as I was seeded in the top three for the event. So, my first active challenge in the zonal competition was the quarter-final, against a Belgium competitor – I won the round 15-9 qualifying for the semi-final.
However, in the semi-final, with some small nerves I didn’t fence to the best of my ability, but I am proud to say I gave it my absolute best. Unfortunately, it wasn’t good enough and despite my best efforts I lost 15-9 to the Ukrainian fencer.
With only the winner of the zonal competition qualifying for the Olympics it meant this Olympic cycle was over for me. Fortunately, I only have to wait another three years until the next Olympic Games, and I am committed to trying again and training in the best way possible. Hopefully next time will be without the added challenges of navigating a pandemic through training.
During the next few years, I hope to finish my Computer Science degree at King’s College, London, and perhaps move to Germany again to prepare for the 2024 Paris Olympics. My experience of this Olympic zonal will, I believe, stand me in good stead and no doubt help me to improve my chances of qualification”.
|“Will has always been a great ambassador for our sport both throughout his time at Truro School and beyond. His commitment, dedication and total focus on his fencing have been an inspiration to others. It has been fascinating to watch Will competing around the world and he has always been so willing to keep in touch with the younger athletes coming up through the club, acting as a mentor and inspiring the next generation on their own fencing journey. Whilst Tokyo wasn’t meant to be for Will, Paris is on the horizon and his drive to be an Olympian is all the more heightened after the disappointment of the final zonal qualifiers. I’m sure this is not the end of Will’s competitive journey, and I look forward to seeing him competing on the big stage around the world again, once covid allows our sport to return to its usual programme.”||
Mrs. Lucy Jupp
Deputy Head of Sixth Form
Head of Fencing