British Fencer European and World Championships

James Jeal

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Currently second in the British rankings, I will compete in the Junior European Championships in Porec, Croatia later this month and the World Championships in Salt Lake City in April, where I am hopeful of retaining my position in order to be selected for the Commonwealth Games in India.

And, should I continue to excel at these competitions, I am confident that I have the potential to realise my childhood dream of becoming an Olympian.

As I have climbed the British rankings, I have shown that I can compete with the top athletes in the sport around the world

Last year, for example, I narrowly lost to the world number three in my age-group at the European Championships, showing that even though Great Britain doesn’t fund my sport to the levels of other countries, I am still able to compete with the best

This was the moment the dream of the Olympics started to become an ambition and a goal of mine and I believe with the right training and continued drive and support that I can make it a reality.

Even from being as young as 10 years old, when I won my first British championship in tetrathlon, I dreamed of making the Olympics one day and the dream is still the same

For any athlete, competing at the Olympics is a life-changing experience and for me, it would be nothing less

I have been fencing for seven years and was introduced to the sport while training for Modern Pentathlon.

I developed my skills at Harrogate Fencing Club before moving to the Derbyshire Epee Academy to work under the tutelage of Anthony Klenczar.

And things have really started to come together for me since I began training in Dronfield.

Going into the season I knew I was fencing well and the under-18 title was something I was really working towards and hoping to win

It just shows that with the right mindset and belief anything is possible as even though I didn’t see it happening, every competition I went to, the belief and hunger to win was the same no matter who I was fencing or what competition it was

I have made plenty of sacrifices since taking up fencing including studying for my A levels at home due to the amount of time spent competing abroad. But, I feel that my success during the past 12 months vindicate all of the effort and money that my family have put into the sport.

It shows that the amount of work, time and money that has been going into my sport over the last few years has been paying off.

It shows that in the future, with continued work and time, plus possible funding and financial support, there are no limits to what I can achieve



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3x British Champion 2019

I recently added the British under-23 Championships crown to my British Junior (under-20) and British Youth (under-18) titles, a feat that has never been achieved inside a 12-month period before!

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