Mepstead delight at world fencing silver

Mepstead delight at world fencing silver

21 July 2019 / 10:26
Marcus Mepstead beat the world number one on his way to claiming World Championship silver in the in the men's foil in Budapest.

The 29-year-old stunned Italian defending champion Alessio Foconi in the round of 64 and then progressed all the way to the final where he was beaten by France’s Enzo Lefort.

It was a remarkable effort from Mepstead, and while there was disappointment and not taking gold, he was thrilled at matching Richard Kruse’s performance a year ago in Wuxi, China.

Mepstead said: “I fenced pretty well but I think I lost my energy by the end. I would have liked to have fenced better in the final to show off the sport a little more but I’m proud of what I have achieved.

“The semi-final was really tough. In fact everyone I fenced today was really good so I think I’ve done really well. Since moving to coach Dan Kellner, based in New York, my preparation is a little better and my self-confidence has grown. 

“I would like to thank him, British Fencing, The National Lottery and the Aspiration Fund. I’d also like to thank PDFA and Leon Paul for their support.”

Mepstead had to come through qualifying to reach the knockout rounds and then began the final day by seeing off Foconi 15-9.

He followed that up with wins over Alexander Choupenitch of the Czech Republic and the Timur Arslanov of Russia to reach the quarter-final.

There he beat Poland’s Michal Siess 15-9 before getting the better of Korea’s Son Young Ki, 15-12, in a thrilling semi-final.

While he could not find an answer for Lefort in the final, it was still a brilliant run, a year after Kruse had ended Great Britain’s 53-year wait for a World Championship medal.

Mepstead’s coach Dan Kellner added: “I'm just so proud of Marcus.  The lead up to this event wasn't the best. 

“Marcus got sick, cut his hand and needed stitches and then had to miss his final training sessions. After the first round, winning two of his five fights and then winning two tough bouts to make the 64, we knew he would draw world number one, Alessio Foconi. 

“We put together a plan for that bout which Marcus executed perfectly. This result really shows what can happen when you put in a lot of hard work, prepare to the best of your ability and believe in what you're doing and what you can accomplish.”

Sportsbeat 2019