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ZFW Dominates British Youth Championships




1) Dario Stenbeck-Schiavo won gold at the British Youth Championships

Photo Credit: ZFW Fencing Club

2) British Youth Champion Amelie Tsang with coaches Peter Barwell (blue shirt) and Matthew Abrahams (ZFW shirt)

Photo Credit: ZFW Fencing Club

They truly are the champions: young athletes from North London fencing club ZFW won gold, silver and bronze across a variety of age categories at this month’s British Youth Championships in Sheffield, which is British Fencing’s premier youth competition.

Amelie Tsang battled her way to gold among under-14 girls, and Dario Stenbeck-Schiavo also captured gold among under-16 boys. David Sosnov finished with the silver medal in the under-14 category; he was forced to abandon his gold-medal finals match due to injury. Claire Sosnov, meanwhile, came away with a bronze medal in the under-12 age category.

More than a dozen of ZFW’s young foilists qualified at regional competitions in the run-up to the British Youth Championships, which were held over three days the first weekend of May at Sheffield’s English Institute of Sport. They came en garde against Britain’s best.

Tsang, aged 12, said she was “absolutely thrilled” with her win, and credited a steady focus for her gold-medal success. “I love fencing,” she added. “The mental and physical challenges. The intensity. It is a beautiful sport.”

Stenbeck-Schiavo, aged 15, said he was “almost flabbergasted” by the win, which he described as a dream come true. Stenbeck-Schiavo said he enjoys the physical conditioning fencing provides as well as the sport’s sense of comradery .

Club spirit was in evidence at the three-day championships, with many of ZFW’s other fencers achieving impressive top-eight finishes. Noteworthy were Dylan Daniel, who came fifth among under-16 boys, Leo Li Lim, placing sixth among under-14 boys, and Eugenie Raimbault, finishing seventh among under-12 girls. They were coached by ZFW senior fencer Peter Barwell and GB junior fencer Matthew Abrahams.

ZFW founder and senior coach Ziemek Wojciechowski, meanwhile, was at a World Cup competition in Saint Petersburg, Russia with Britain’s senior foilists, where the GB men’s team placed sixth. That squad featured ZFW fencers Richard Kruse and James-Andrew Davis, both from North London and both multiple Olympians. Senior international competitions become increasingly important in the run-up to the 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

The senior men will take the piste again this month at a Grand Prix in Shanghai, China, a competition that Kruse won last year. The youngsters will come en garde in June at the England Youth Championships.

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


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