ZFW's Shining Stars
By David Williams
Medal rush for Hampstead’s ZFW fencers at the British Senior Fencing Championships in Sheffield, June 2022
The fencers from ZFW fencing club claimed a series of medals whilst dominating the national fencing scene yet again with Dominic De Almeida celebrating his first British Championships Title, Amelie Tsang crowning herself Vice-British Champion, Teagan Williams-Stewart and Harry Bird following their teammates onto the podium claiming bronze as well as claiming Silver in the team men’s foil event. De Almeida dominated his first fights, winning 15-2 against both Briggs (Allez Fencing) and Monnet (Salle Boston). In the round of 16, the 23-year-old proved himself worthy of the title beating former British Champion Ben Peggs (FCL) in a competitive match 15-14. In the quarterfinals, de Almeida faced his ZFW teammate David Sosnov, winning 15-6. The champion-to-be went on to outclass his semi-final opponent, beating Joe Donaghue (FCL) 15-5. In the final de Almeida faced the title holder Kamal Minott from Fencers Club London. The 23-year-old immediately took the lead and kept hold of it, ultimately sealing the bag at 15-13 to become the new British Champion.
This title makes him the 5th British fencer to win throughout all age categories, joining a list of great athletes. After the event the newly crowned champion had to say, “I’m absolutely over the moon to have won the senior national championships and to now become the 5th
British men’s foilist in history to win the national championship at cadet, junior and senior level. Joining this list is a huge honour, as many of them were my fencing heroes growing up.”
Lastly, de Almeida sought to express gratitude to ZFW head coach and 9-time Olympian Ziemek Wojciechowski “who has helped me towards this goal day in and day out and without who’s guidance and wisdom, this result would not have been possible.”
De Almeida was followed onto the podium by his fellow ZFW team member Harry Bird who claimed bronze, only losing out to Kamal Minott in a strong semi-final 15-8. ZFW youngster David Sosnov at the young age of 16 displayed his talent yet again placing 8th out of 102 competitors. Other ZFW fencers displayed encouraging results with David Williams placing 17th, Peter Barwell 19th and Dominic Kiss 68th.
In the women’s foil, the teen sensation Amelie Tsang, aged 15 claimed the Silver only losing 15-11 to the more experienced Kate Beardmore from Fighting Fit Fencing. Tsang said, “it was a fantastic day of fencing, and I am thrilled to have reached the final despite also having to deal with exams at the same time.” The ZFW youngster impressed in her first round going undefeated and winning over Gale (Allez) 15-8, Elliott (Fighting Fit) 15-3, Johnson (FCL) 15-5 and Chart 15-7 for her chance in the gold medal match. Tsang was also followed onto the podium by another ZFW member Teagan Williams-Stewart who claimed bronze, losing a close semi-final match against Beardmore 15-14. Other notable performances come from Yasmin Campbell who placed 5th, Rachel Shaw 20th, Emily Goodchild 24th, Marisa Green 44th and Victoria Amore 60th.
In the team events only the men’s foilist took to the piste, ultimately claiming Silver to become Vice British Champions. The team started strong beating Fencers Club London three 45-32, Sheffield Buccaneers 45-20 as well as Allez Fencing 45-23. In the quarterfinals,ZFW outclassed Louth Fencing Club 45-16 going on to win comfortably in the semi-finals 45-36 against Fencer Club London Two. In the final, the team from Hampstead faced Fencers Club London One losing 45-32 in a strong final. The strong presence of ZFW fencers at the British Senior Championships come as an encouraging result ahead of this years’ Senior World Championships in Cairo. ZFW will also make its presence noticed here constituting 5 out of the 8 fencers representing Great Britain.
ZFW’s Olivia White, aged 11, also made club history by placing 8th at the prestigious Mini-Marathon Fleuret Competition in Paris, on the 25th of June. She faced competitors from all around the world and battled through a true marathon of a day which was eventually concluded by a skilled fencer from Latvia, who went on to take the silver medal. Olivia was over the moon to produce such an encouraging and well-deserved result and at the end of the day she said: “
I highly recommend to my fellow youth fencers to step out of their comfort zone and make the jump first to local and national competitions and then to international competitions. This experience was so much fun, very rewarding and truly opened my eyes to the global community of fencers! “ Her fellow ZFW team mates, Isabel Hofmann and William Stirling also made their international debut at this elite tournament.
ZFW's world-renowned head coach Maestro Ziemek Wojciechowski is impressed by the improvement of both young and experienced fencers from his club. "The results of ZFW fencers in the most prestigious national event showed further progress towards mastery of our craft."