Sheppard books London spot

22 April 2012 / 20:13

Natalia Sheppard has become the second British fencer to earn a place in this summer's Olympics.

Ranked only 55th in the world, Sheppard made certain of competing in London by reaching the final of the women's foil at the European qualifying tournament in Bratislava on Sunday.

The 27-year-old, who will be appearing in her first Games, joins Richard Kruse, whose third appearance was secured via the rankings with victory in the last counting event last month.

Sheppard cruised past Slovakian Michala Cellerova 15-4 in the quarter-finals and then beat Romanian Cristina Ghita 10-6 in the most important fight of her career.

Corinna Lawrence reached the semi-finals of the epee, but lost 15-11 to Hungarian Emese Szasz, the top seed in the event.

There were earlier defeats for Joanna Hutchison and James Honeybone in the sabre and Jonathan Willis in the epee.

They are all left hoping for host nation spots to be decided by the governing body.