Camden girls’ hockey team and Westminster fencers enjoy success at London Youth Games
PUBLISHED: 13:17 25 June 2013 | UPDATED: 13:17 25 June 2013
Camden girls’ hockey team enjoyed a successful day at the Balfour Beatty London Youth Games, securing a place in next month’s finals at Crystal Palace.
The borough side finished fourth in a tough qualifying group, winning three out of their five games – and that was enough to take them through to the finals as one of the best runners-up.
They will now progress to the finals of Europe’s largest annual youth sports event at the National Sports Centre on July 6, where the girls will join 11 other hockey teams who are all going for gold – including defending champions Wandsworth.
Meanwhile, Westminster have already secured a bronze medal in the fencing competition.
The senior team of Forbes Anderson, Harry Bird, Daniel Kim, Alexandre Rabeau and Siegfried Von Thun-Hohenstein lost their first match, narrowly going down 43-41 against 2012 runner-ups Enfield, before convincingly beating Havering 45-13.
Having qualified for the quarter-finals, Westminster took on Barnet and won by a single point (43-42) to set up a semi-final against the six-time defending champions and competition favourites, Newham.
The east Londoners proved too strong for Westminster in the end, winning 45-27 – and they went on to beat Enfield to defend their title.
Westminster team manager Tomek Walicki, who coached Team GB fencer Anna Bentley at the London 2012 Olympics, was happy to see his squad’s improvement this year as they moved up from 10th to fifth in the overall standings.
He said: “I was quite pleased with their performance – we came third in the seniors and ninth in the juniors. I think we did better this year than last year so we are heading in the right direction.
“They have trained harder and most of the boys who fenced last year are here again, so they have more experience, they were stronger mentally and knew what to expect.”
Walicki also hopes that the team’s success will convince more young people to get involved in the sport and compete at the London Youth Games.
He said: “They enjoy the day, and representing the borough is very important for the young people. They grow together to make a stronger team too.
“Hopefully other youngsters will hear about their success and want to join up for next year.”
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