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Fencing at Whitgift School

Whitgift students shine in national and international fencing championships.

Whitgift took part in the annual Public Schools' Fencing Championships, held at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, between 15 - 17 March. The tournament is the largest competition in Britain, with 98 schools and 1,280 fencers competing this year.

Highlights of the championship included Upper Fifth Form pupil, Connor Head, achieving 1st place in the U16 Foil – last won by a Whitgiftian in 1989 – and being crowned U16 Master at Arms (overall winner across all three weapons). Upper Third Former, Malvin Lingajothy, came in at 2ndplace and earned the title of U14 Master at Arms. Luka Peacefield, also in Upper Third Form, and Connor Head both came 3rd in the U14 and U16 Épée respectively.

Whitgift came 3rd place overall in the team trophies. Mr Keith Smith, former head of Whitgift fencing and Olympic fencing referee, commented on the success of Whitgift’s Head of Fencing, Mr Pavel Rynes, and his team, “To be in the top 3 is a very fine achievement indeed. It is good to see Whitgift continue its excellent record at these championships, which now extends for some 30 years."

Connor Head and Tarriq Roach have also been competing on the U17 international circuit, the last event having taken place at the end of February. Connor is now officially ranked 50th in the world (out of 791 fencers who represented their countries on the international circuit). Tarriq, in Lower Fifth Form, finished the season in a respectable 118thplace.

In March, Tarriq Roach and Luka Peacefield represented England in Challenge Wratislavia, in Poland. Challenge Wratislavia is an important competition for U15s; as there is no official international circuit for this age group, this competition is an unofficial world championship. Out of 160 fencers, Tarriq Roach won a bronze medal, Whitgift’s first international medal in years. Mr Rynes commented, “As those who medalled in this competition usually go on to win in the U17 and U20 categories, it gives us great prospect for the future.

On a whole, it is wonderful to see Whitgift fencers back on the international scene after so many years; the last of which was Mayuran Ratneswaran who competed for the GB team in the last decade.”

For further information on Whitgift School, visit their webpage.

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