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Page last updated at 16:13 GMT, Thursday, 17 July 2008 17:13 UK

Emanuel joins GB Olympic fencers

Martina Emanuel
Emanuel, who is based in Italy, is Britain's number one

A third fencer has been added to Team GB for Beijing, following the Austrian Olympic Committee's decision to withdraw one of their athletes.

Martina Emanuel, 22, has been handed the reallocated place and will compete in the individual foil event.

"It was a wonderful surprise and I am so excited about going to Beijing," said Emanuel, who was born in Italy and both lives and trains in Milan.

She joins sabreur Alex O'Connell and foil fencer Richard Kruse in the team.

Kruse was also the beneficiary of a reallocated place, in June, with O'Connell initially expected to be Britain's sole fencer in Beijing.

Emanuel is the current British number one for her event, but appeared to have missed out on the Olympics when she finished fourth in her Olympic qualifying tournament in April.

"It is a dream come true to compete for Team GB and it will be a great experience for me with London 2012 in mind," she added.

Graham Watts, British fencing's performance director, agreed that Emanuel's selection for Beijing primarily serves to prepare her for 2012.

"She is a very determined, young fencer who will make the most of this early Olympic exposure to gain vital experience in her target for a medal winning performance in 2012," he said.

see also
Kruse added to GB fencing squad
26 Jun 08 |  Fencing
Team GB for Beijing
17 Jul 08 |  Team GB

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