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Busy weekend at the Senior Nationals

By Harry Bird



ZFW had a very successful British National Championships this year winning numerous medals over two days of fencing. In the men’s competition, ZFW won two medals and 4 of its members finished in the top 6 of the individual event, and in the team competition they came away with an incredible gold and bronze. For the women there was more success for the talented Amelie Tsang who won the individual competition for the 2nd year in a row, and she was joined on the podium by Kimberley Cheung who took 3rd place.


The men’s competition came first, and David Sosnov had the brightest start to the day winning all his poule fights and was seeded 2nd. Unfortunately, Henry Stirling, Alex Jones, and Alastair Thompson were not able to progress past the round of 64 leaving 7 ZFW members still left in the competition. Alexander James notably beat Sebastian Monnet, a highly ranked fencer, to make it to the top 32. An anticipated grudge match between old rivals happened earlier in the competition than expected as Jake Hurst and David Williams faced off in the round of 32. On this occasion it was Williams who progressed. However, another all ZFW affair meant that Sosnov and Williams were to face in the last 16, and it was Sosnov who emerged victorious. Some tough fights for Harry Bird, Alberto Mascioli, and Dario Stenbeck-Schiavo were happening on other pistes where all 3 defeated highly ranked opponents in closely fought bouts. This left 4 ZFW fencers in the top 8. Sosnov continued his run winning marginally by 1 point to make the semi-finals, whilst unfortunately Mascioli was defeated by the young Scottish talent Jaimie Cook. Yet another ZFW VS ZFW fight took place between Bird and Stenbeck-Schiavo with Bird progressing to the semi-finals to face Cook. Unfortunately, neither fencer made the final as Sosnov lost to Kamal Minott, the eventual tournament winner, and Bird lost to Cook. Two medals and strong performances from talented, and some young emerging talents marked a successful day for ZFW.


ZFW fielded three women for the individual competition: Amelie Tsang, the reigning national champion, Sophie Mehra, a GB under 20 squad member, and Kimberley Cheung, a new ZFW fencer, but an experienced and successful international elite athlete. It was Cheung who started the strongest winning all her poule fights and was ranked 3rd, Tsang was close behind in 5th, and Mehra in 24th. Unfortunately, Mehra was unable to make it past the round of 32. Amelie and Kimberley however cruised their ways to the semi-finals, barely conceding more than 5 hits per bout. At this point Tsang had her toughest fight of the day winning 15-12 against Zoe Wagstaff. In the other semi it wasn’t to be for Cheung, who lost 15-11 to Georgia Silk. This left Tsang with the opportunity to win consecutive gold individual national titles which she did in style winning by a huge margin and being crowned champion. Two more medals for ZFW showing their depth of talent.


Individual results


Men’s foil:

Bird 3rd

Sosnov 3rd

Stenbeck-Schiavo 5th

Mascioli 6th

Williams 12th

Hurst 21st

James 28th

Stirling 34th

Jones 36th

Thomson 39th



Women’s foil:

Tsang 1st

Cheung 3rd

Mehra 24th




On the Sunday the team competition began and ZFW put out two men’s teams and one womens’. The women’s team consisted of bronze medallist Kimberley Cheung, Sophie Mehra, and Lily Schauer. The format of the competition was a poule unique meaning each team fenced one another and the team with the most victories would win. Sadly, despite some brave fencing and strong performances, particularly from Cheung the most experienced member of the team, ZFW were unable to finish amongst the medals. But for a young team there is a lot of hope for the future.


In the men’s tournament, ZFW A were ranked 1st and ZFW B were ranked 3rd. ZFW B had a tough first match with Salle Boston, which after a slightly shaky start, substitute Mascioli settled the boat with a huge 8-3 win to draw the scores close. This was backed up by a strong leg from Williams putting the team in control, and all fencers did their part to close out the match winning 45-31. ZFW A this year had a strong addition of coach and fencer Jai Birch who had an immediate impact in their first match against Salle Holyrood. ZFW took a controlling lead which was closed by Holyrood’s star performer Cook midway through the match. Mental resilience was shown by the fencers to get over the line and win the fight 45-40, getting sweet revenge on the team that knocked them out the year previously. An MVP performance from Sosnov who won his 3 individual matches. ZFW A advanced to the final, and meanwhile, ZFW B were facing FCL A in the other semi-final. Despite a valiant effort from all the members they were defeated 45-29. This meant they would face off against Salle Holyrood for the bronze medal match. ZFW B started very strongly taking a commanding lead. The deficit was again cut by Cook, meaning that they were trailing by 2 points going into the final three legs. A draw from Hurst and a 2-point loss from Mascioli meant that Williams would need to pull off a miracle to win the bronze medal for the team. At 44-40 this seemed insurmountable, but a stunning comeback from Williams scoring 5 hits in a row gave ZFW B a brilliant bronze medal, beating the reigning national champions to the podium.


The final between ZFW A and FCL A was a London Derby and a repeat of the final two years prior where FCL had won. It began with a strong leg from Stenbeck-Schiavo beating their anchor fencer and the current national champion. This was backed up by Bird, Sosnov, and Birch who extended the margin to 4 points. A strong leg from Bird gave ZFW some daylight going into the final 4 legs, and it was just whether they could see the match out. Despite two fightbacks from Joe Donaghue of FCL, in the end, Sosnov was able to close out the final leg. ZFW won with an overall score of 45-37, crowning themselves the 2024 Team National Champions. ZFW A and B crowded the podium and capped off a brilliant weekend with performances to be proud of.



Team Results


Men’s foil

ZFW A 1st

ZFW B 3rd


Women’s foil

ZFW 5th

The 2024 British Senior Championships took place at the EIS in Sheffield on 27th and 28th April 2024

British Fencing's Photos videos and posts from the weekend can be found here:

Photo credit: ZFW Fencing Club


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