Kruse confident over medal hopes

12 June 2012 / 14:51

Richard Kruse is confident he can bring his A-game to London 2012 and deliver Britain's first Olympic fencing medal in almost 50 years.

Kruse, 28, was one of only two from the 10-strong Team GB squad who qualified as of right for the Games.

Four years ago, the Lansdowne Club foilist reached the last eight at the Beijing Olympics and has been ranked as high as fifth in the world.

London-born Kruse feels he can produce on the biggest stage of all this summer.

"When I went to Beijing, I had not actually won any international events, now I have won three. The referees know me, the other fencers know me and take me seriously, so it all bodes well," Kruse said. "We would like to come away with a medal.

"I feel I am experienced enough, I have done it in World Cup events and at the European Championships. Now, it is just about doing it on the day."

Kruse added: "I am pretty sure I can bring my A-game to the table and then if that happens, the podium is really in sight. I feel like I could do it today, but will have to wait another month or so."

Polish-born Natalia Sheppard, 27, also qualified for the Olympics based on her performance in the foil.

The 27-year-old, who came to Britain to study at Bath University, feels there is a positive vibe about the whole squad.

"It feels very accomplishing to have qualified for the Olympics, but I did not do that on my own, I had the team behind me," she said. "We are all working so hard to deliver on the day, and I am sure we will not disappoint."