Meet the Team GB fencing squad for Rio 2016
Road to Rio

Meet the Team GB fencing squad for Rio 2016

05 May 2016 / 13:21

There’s less than 100 days to go until the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and today sees Team GB’s ranks boosted to more than 60 with the selection of the fencing team.

Fencers James Davis, Richard Kruse and Laurence Halsted will turn out for Team GB in the men’s individual and team foil events – with Marcus Mepstead a reserve in the team event.

Team GB were assured of representation in the foil back in February where a ninth-placed finish at the World Cup in Bonn meant that qualification was sealed by virtue of being the highest European world-ranked team outside the top four.

All three of the team have Olympic pedigree after they represented Team GB at London 2012 – where they finished sixth while, more recently, Kruse won gold with Team GB in the team foil event at the European Games in Baku.

So, let’s meet the team!

JamesDavisGB3200

James Davis, 24, born in Edgware now lives in Barnet

Event: Men’s Individual and Team Foil

James Davis was born and brought up in London. He started fencing at the age of four and immediately displayed a natural aptitude for the sport.

In 2008 he became the first Briton to medal at a European Cadet Championships when he picked up a bronze medal. He represented Team GB at London 2012 before going on to win individual and team European foil bronze in 2013 and then clinched the individual gold a year later in Strasbourg.

At the end of 2015 he was ranked number seven in the world and was part of the team that helped clinch a Team GB quota spot at Rio 2016.

LaurenceHalsted3200GB

Laurence Halsted, 31, born in London

Event: Men’s Individual and Team Foil

Fencing runs in the family for Laurence Halsted with his father Nick having competed for Team GB at the Mexico City1968 Olympic Games and his mother Clare competing at Montreal 1976.

Laurence followed in his parents’ footsteps and turned out for Team GB London 2012 in the men’s team foil event – where they lost to Italy in the quarter-final.

He has three European Championship medals to his name with an individual silver in 2008 and an individual and team bronze from 2009 and 2010 respectively.

His nickname among his teammates is ‘The Kingslayer’ because of his resemblance to Nikolaj Coster-Waldau who plays Jaime Lannister in the TV show Game of Thrones.

Richard Kruse

Richard Kruse
, 32, born and lives in London

Event: Men’s Individual and Team Foil

Richard Kruse was the first British fencer to qualify outright for London 2012 and part of the team that finished sixth.

He had finished eighth on his Olympic debut at Athens 2004, the best individual performance by a British fencer for 40 years, having won European junior silver in 2001 and then gold a year later.

Kruse is a qualified civil engineer who can play the bagpipes and was part of the group that won team foil gold at the 2015 European Games in Baku.

Marcus Mepstead
Marcus Mepstead,
25, born in London

Event: Men’s Team Foil (Reserve)

Marcus Mepstead started fencing as an after-school activity and has been a regular feature in the men’s team foil event in recent years.

In 2010 he was a part of the team that won bronze at the European Championships in Leipzig – the first British medal at a major event since 1965.

Three years later and the team repeated the trick in Zagreb and in 2014 Mepstead was brought into the British World Class Programme in the build up to Rio 2016.

He competed at the inaugural European Games in Baku, where he helped Team GB claim the gold medal in the team foil event.