Davis Wins British Championships
PRESS RELEASE: ZFW’S JAMES-ANDREW DAVIS BECOMES BRITISH NATIONAL FENCING CHAMPION
DATE: Sunday April 28, 2019. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
North London fencing club ZFW notched up another key victory this month as senior men’s foilist James-Andrew Davis claimed gold in the National Championships in London.
Davis, a two-time Olympian and former European champion, secured the senior national title with a 15-10 victory against Benjamin Peggs, himself a member of Britain’s international senior fencing squad.
Davis was ranked tenth after the initial seeding rounds at the nationals, which were held on April 13 at the University of East London’s SportsDock complex. He handily progressed through the day, taking on and defeating all comers, including clubmates Matthew Abrahams and Dominic de Almeida in the early rounds, to achieve a spot on the finals piste.
Fellow ZFW fencer Jai Birch, who was ranked first after the initial seeding round, overcame several tough competitors, among them 2016 national champion Marcus Mepstead, on his run up to secure the bronze medal. No newcomer to the sport, Birch, from east London, was a member of the British team that took bronze at the 2016 Junior World Fencing Championships in France.
For north Londoner Davis, the day was special. “This has been a big hurdle for me for so many years,” he said. “I have tried so many times to take this title and it has eluded me on every occasion. I’m so proud to finally be Britain’s senior national champion. It’s as important to me as winning the European Championships.”
Davis, who is now 27, was the youngest member of Great Britain’s fencing team when he made his Olympic debut in London in the summer of 2012. He became Britain’s first-ever European champion in 2014 and represented Team GB at the summer Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Davis, who competes for ZFW Fencing Club domestically and for Britain internationally, currently trains in California.
ZFW founder and senior coach Ziemek Wojciechowski said the victory was significant for Davis. “It is his first national senior title. James started fencing at the age of four, so he grew with the sport and has developed a complete game with fast and accurate blade work.”
As the club’s senior fencers continue their international season, its many younger members are also achieving solid results. Noteworthy at the Cadet World Championships in Poland in early April was a sixth-place finish by 16-year-old ZFW foilist Cameron Evans in a highly competitive field. The next major event for ZFW’s younger warriors will be the British Youth Championships, set for Sheffield in early May.
ZFW is run by Olympic Coach Ziemek Wojciechowski with a team of dedicated experts. The club aims to boost the standard of fencing in Britain by providing a centre of excellence for elite fencers training for Olympic, international and national teams. It also provides a learning programme with an emphasis on youngsters. ZFW operates from various venues in North London and elsewhere around the capital. For further details, please visit https://www.zfw-fencing.co.uk
1) On the podium: James-Andrew Davis with the Senior National Champion’s trophy (centre) and ZFW’s Jai Birch, who claimed the bronze medal (wearing the red hoodie)
2) ZFW fencers James-Andrew Davis (dark shirt) with his gold medal and Jai Birch (red hoodie), sporting the bronze.
Photo Credits for both: ZFW Fencing Club