Four north London fencers heading to Rio for 2016 Olympics

Richard Kruse, who coaches at ZFW Fencing Club at South Hampstead High School, is set to appear at h

Richard Kruse, who coaches at ZFW Fencing Club at South Hampstead High School, is set to appear at his fourth Olympic Games - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Four north London fencers will head to Rio de Janeiro this summer to aid Team GB’s quest for Olympic glory.

Richard Kruse and James Davis – who are both coaches at ZFW Fencing Club, based at South Hampstead High School – have been chosen to compete in the individual and men’s team foil events, along with Laurence Halsted, who started out as a youngster at Finchley Foil.

All three men have represented Hendon-based Salle Paul at one stage – and so has Hampstead’s Marcus Mepstead, who has been selected as the team reserve.

Kruse, 32, said: “It’s the pinnacle of the sport so to be selected and be able to go out there for my fourth Games is going to be brilliant.”

Halsted said: “I was selected for London but this is different because we qualified by right this time and that feels significant because we did it ourselves.

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“It feels like the culmination of a 10-year project to find a team that is strong enough to compete at this level, and in the last year we have come on so much.”

Davis added: “Just by qualifying and beating the best teams we know that we have a chance at the Olympics. I know I am good enough so I am just focusing on that first touch.”

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And Mepstead said: “This will be my first Olympic Games so I’m incredibly excited to be going out to Rio. It’s a huge achievement for me and the team. We have been really strong this season and for me this moment has been a lifetime in the making.

“I’ve done this sport all my life so I’m so proud to have made these Olympic Games. I think for the sport it’s important that we are there because we want to help it grow and we want to be competing against the best in the world.”

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