Honeybone ousted by Pryiemka
July 29, 2012 11:46 am
Truro fencer James Honeybone's Olympics was over in a flash at the ExCeL arena.
The 21-year-old, one of eight members of the 10-strong squad given a host nation spot, was beaten 15-9 in the first round by Valery Pryiemka, from Belarus.
At 93rd in the world Honeybone was ranked 52 places below his opponent, but he was really up for it. Even before he had been introduced he was on the piste wielding his blade to get the crowd more into it.
But after losing he said: "I made more mistakes and he punished them - I didn't perform and let everybody down a bit. I let myself down. Not good enough."
Britain's three women foilists had failed to reach the last 16 when competition began on Saturday with an Italian clean sweep of the medals.
The men's sabre favourites were German Nicolas Limbach and Russian Alexey Yakimenko.
"It's obviously special being here. I like to get fired up and it's just a shame," added Honeybone. "I'm good enough to be winning these fights. Very disappointing. I've not fenced him to 15 before, but we've met in a team event and I beat him. It's a massive experience to take away, but it would have been a little bit better to have more competitive experience."
In actual fighting time - sabre is the weapon that calls for all-out attack far more than foil and epee - it was all over in just 41 seconds.
Honeybone was level at 2-2, but Pryiemka, eight years older, then raced 8-3 in front and even had his opponent down on the floor at one point. After a minute's rest Honeybone closed the gap to 13-9, but could not score again.
It was an almost packed venue and he added: "I love a big crowd and thrive off the atmosphere, but my fencing was not quite up to it today."
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