GB fencers happy with eighth

Anna Bentley admitted Great Britain’s women’s foil fencing team were always going to struggle after their defeat to Italy.

Eurosport

She dubbed their rivals – who include Valentina Vezzali, the 38-year old five-time Olympic champion, as her the Barcelona of fencing.

And they certainly dominated a one-sided quarter-final, winning 42-14, but Bentley was happy to have secured their top-eight finish, courtesy of a battling first-round win over Egypt.

However, further defeats to Poland and Japan in classification matches meant eighth was as good as it got.

“It’s a personal best to get to the top eight, it was our first goal coming here and we’re really happy about that,” said Bentley.

“We don’t really match up with Italy, it’s like trying to beat Barcelona. They are the best fencing nation in the world and world number one for a reason.

“There is not one weak link in their team, we got some good points against them and we can have no complaints.

“It’s a big learning curve for us. Vezzali is an example to us all, she’s just ridiculous and she doesn’t make mistakes.

“They came out confident and arrogant and maybe we need to learn a bit from them about how we approach it.

“They are technically strong but I really don’t think there is much technical difference between any of the teams here. It’s about who performs on the day and who keeps it simple.”

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