The 2019 Belfast Open Fencing Tournament was held last weekend Sat 9th and Sun 10 March 2019 in the Sullivan Sports Hall and incorporated Round 5 of the NI Junior Foil Series. Seventeen SU fencers took part in the junior event, 9 of whom won medals: an SUFC record medal total of 2 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze.
Year 8s Alexandra Ong and Sophia Cahill, both with previous round wins, met in the final of this category, Alexandra taking the gold with a 10-8 win over Sophia.
Year 10 Alex Atkinson and year 8 Charlie Beimers represented Sullivan in this age group. Charlie showed how much her fencing has improved this year by making the semi-finals for the first time, taking a bronze medal. Alex won the other semi, then came away with the silver medal from the final.
In the poule round Alexander Penny won all his bouts, including a notable victory over the U14 series points leader, to come out top seed. Then in the knock-out stage he made it to the semi-finals, but lost to the eventual winner to take third place and a bronze medal. Arnav Arava, Adam Caldwell and Finn Neely all made the quarter-finals, while Kier Murray, Cameron Kitchen, Lewis Currie and Edward Lilley all finished in the last 16.
Victoria Morris returned to competition, after missing Round 4 with a wrist injury, with a blistering performance to win gold without losing a single bout. SU fencers won all 4 medals in this age group: Izzy Evans taking the silver, while the 2 beaten semi-finallists, Rachel McKillen and Angharad King took the bronze medals.
Cormac Kitchen, again our only male SU U16 representative, finished just outside the medals in 5th place.
Round 6, the final competition of the series, takes place on Sunday 7 April 2019, venue to be arranged.
NIJFS Round 5 formed only one competition on the Belfast Open Tournament programme, there being 6 others: senior men’s and women’s events in foil, epee and sabre. Three of SUFC’s fencers took part in the senior competitions, Izzy Evans and Alex Atkinson in the Women’s Foil and Arnav Arava in the Men’s Foil. Alex and Izzy both made the quarter-finals, finishing 5th and 7th, while Arnav finished 15th.