Search

London 2012: Heroic Great Britain fencers narrowly fail to defeat champions Italy

11:51 05 August 2012

London

London's Richard Kruse competes for Team GB in fencing

Archant

Men’s team foil quarter-final: Great Britain 40 Italy 45

Great Britain’s men’s foil team bowed out at the quarter-final stage but only after a thrilling battle with gold medal favourites Italy at the Excel Centre.

Three north London fencers – Richard Kruse (Camden), James Davis (Barnet) and Laurence Halsted (Islington) were in the British squad that took on the reigning world champions.

Having suffered disappointment in the individual event on Tuesday, Kruse and Davis led the British charge early on Sunday morning in the opening clash with Egypt, which GB won 45-33 to set up a last-eight-encounter with the Italians.

Davis was first in action in the nine-leg quarter-final, but trailed 3-1 after being edged out by Italy’s Andrea Baldini. However Kruse, the British No1, battled back into contention at 9-10 after a superb clash with world No1 Andrea Cassara.

The Italians restored their lead after leg three featuring GB’s Husayn Rosowski against Cassara, which saw the Italians lead 14-11, but then Davis fenced the best leg of his career to defeat Asrpromonte 9-5 and see GB take a shock 20-19 lead.

Rosowski was then beaten 5-2 by Baldini as Italy regained the lead after the fifth leg at 24-22, but Kruse then had another titanic battle with Cassara, losing 6-4 but keeping GB in contention at 30-26 to the Italians.

The British team management then decided to substitute Rosowski with Halsted, who made his Olympic debut to maintain a fine family tradition with both of his parents also having fought for GB at past Games.

He did not let the family name down, posting a superb 6-5 win over Italy’s weak link Aspromonte, to cut the Italians’ lead to 35-32 with two legs remaining.

Davis returned to the piste for leg eight, with the mighty Cassara facing him, but in what will be the GB fencing squad’s best memory of these Games, recorded a 6-5 win to send the crowd wild and reduce the overall gap to just two points ahead of the final leg.

Kruse returned for leg nine against Italy’s Baldini, with Italy’s lead 40-38, for the most important three minutes of his fencing career.

Ultimately, it was just beyond the 29-year-old who coaches the sport in Camden, as Baldini won 5-2 to take Italy through to the semi-finals with a final score of 45-40.

0 comments

Latest Sport Stories

17:49
Belsize Park captain Tom House scored his side's first try. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Ben Parker scored Belsize Park’s fourth try with the last play of the game as the hosts secured a bonus point in a 28-10 victory against Wasps, which took them up into second place in London North-West Division Three.

16:53
Dan Dimoline's second conversion hit the post as Hampstead unfortunately missed the chance to go ahead in the second half. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Hampstead missed out on a fourth consecutive league win and a place in the top four after a poor first-half display condemned them to an 18-15 home defeat against Hammersmith & Fulham in London North-West Division Two.

16:07
Laurent Stephenson (centre) scored UCS Old Boys' opening try. Pic: Paolo Minoli

UCS Old Boys overcame basement boys Old Streetonians 24-14 to earn their first away win of the season and jump two places up the table in London North-West Division Three.

The Ham&High's Wingate & Finchley blogger Simon Swingler

The Ham&High’s Wingate & Finchley blogger Simon Swingler looks back on Saturday’s trip to Suffolk and the 2-0 defeat away against promotion challengers Leiston.

Most read sport

It’s that time of year again, who do you think should win the Sports Personality of the Year award?

This newspaper backs independence for Scotland.

Nurse William Pooley is the only person to have tested positive for the disease in England.

Now it’s time for the experts to show off their skills as the Masters return to London.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition