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Page last updated at 10:08 GMT, Thursday, 26 June 2008 11:08 UK

Kruse added to GB fencing squad

Richard Kruse
Kruse's eighth place finish in Athens was Britain's best since 1964

British fencer Richard Kruse has been added to the Olympic squad following a reallocation of places by the FIE, the sport's governing body.

Kruse, 24, competed in the men's foil in Athens, but appeared to have missed out on Beijing following defeat by a single hit at zonal qualifiers in May.

"With a lot of help and a bit of good luck I have been fortunate enough to receive a place," said Kruse.

The British Olympic Association has now ratified his surprise nomination.

The FIE, like many governing bodies, reallocates unused qualification places at the end of the qualifying period for an Olympic Games.

The reallocation of a place to Kruse, who has been labelled Britain's best hope for a first Olympic fencing medal since 1964, means he joins sabre fencer Alex O'Connell in Team GB.

"We are naturally delighted that Richard has qualified for Beijing," said Graham Watts, British Fencing's performance director.

"It is just reward for four years of very hard work since he reached the top eight in Athens. He has the ability and confidence to improve on this in Beijing."

Kruse can take hope from American sabre fencer Mariel Zagunis, who proved at the 2004 Athens Games that wildcard entrants can go on to take Olympic gold.

Zagunis won her competition despite only qualifying when Nigeria declined to send a competitor.

see also
O'Connell secures lone GB place
08 May 08 |  Fencing
Richard Kruse - Fencing
07 Aug 07 |  Other sport...
Team GB for Beijing
25 Jun 08 |  Team GB

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