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Last Updated: Monday, 26 March 2007, 16:31 GMT 17:31 UK
Fencer Willis grabs World Cup win
Fencing generic image
Jon Willis has become the first British fencer to claim a World Cup victory since 1981 at the Heidenheimer Pokal.

The Stockport 26-year-old sealed his epee triumph with nine consecutive wins after losing three out of four fights in the preliminary stages in Germany.

Willis said: "Being able to train full time is clearly already paying off for me, and I'm so thrilled with the medal.

"Hopefully, it will be the first of many for me and the rest of the Great Britain Olympic team."

Willis, part of British Fencing's new Olympic Pathway Programme, came from 6-11 down to defeat former champion Ulrich Robeiri 15-11 and win gold.

In the semi-finals, he defeated another Frenchman, Francois Jan, 15-14 after saving three match points at 12-14 down with just seconds remaining.

In the world of epee fencing, this tournament is the equivalent to Wimbledon for lawn tennis

Graham Watts

British Fencing performance director Graham Watts said: "What Jon has achieved in winning such a stellar tournament cannot be underestimated.

"This is the first time a British fencer has won a World Cup event since 1981, the year Jon was actually born.

"I've no doubt that his success will further inspire other Pathway fencers to realise their potential."

The Olympic Pathway Programme was launched in January with the aim of producing Britain's first Olympic medal success in fencing since 1964.

Each of the 16 fencers in the scheme receive grants to train full-time at the British Fencing Elite Training Centre in London, and overseas.



SEE ALSO
Fencing Fever
26 Mar 07 |  Other Sport...


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