The highlights started right from the off, with a deserved L8 result for Marc Burkhalter and strong results from the rest of the SME team.
This was followed on day 3 by a great team performance, with Bronze medal place secured after a comprehensive victory over Cyprus in the L8. The team, including Marc, George Morris and Huw Richards pushed a very strong Scots team all the way, eventually going down 45-36 with Will Sturgeon proving a particular thorn in the Scot’s side.
Day 2 saw a phenomenal performance throughout the day from Glen Oscacchini (SMF)who secured a Silver medal that was so nearly Gold. The finest of margins saw him miss out 14-15 in a see-saw final that genuinely could have gone either way.
The SMF team showed what they could do on day 4 with a comprehensive win (45-19) over Jersey in the L16 to meet Canada in the L8. With Ethan Ridsdale, Euan Deamer and Jack Davies fencing well, the lead changed several times in the first few bouts, but the Canadians pulled out a 5 point lead by the time the 9th round came. With only 5 points to play with, it proved just a bit too much for our anchor-man Glen, and despite winning 8-5, the match went to the Canadians 43-45.
SWE showed us a glimpse of what may come in the team event with strong results in the individuals. Jess Gundry and Lou Sadler missing out on at least Bronze medals by 11-15 and 11-12, and Emily Southern and Rebecca Renziehausen just missing out on L16’s going down 14-15 and 13-15 respectively.
These ladies took this form into the team event, and a controlled performance saw them take out New Zealand 45-37 to meet England in the Semi-final. Here they met an England team that was effectively the GBR SWE team, and what a result! Keeping the score low and tight, every member of the team excelled in their role, and despite being 2 hits down going into the final bout, Jess Gundry turned the tables on the GB No.1, Susan Sica, winning 6-2 to secure a place in the final against Canada.
The final saw another great team performance but trailed 17-24 going into the final leg. With plenty of points available and nothing to lose, Jess Gundry went onto the attack, and a clearly rattled Canadian struggled to cope with the onslaught. When the score was brought back to 36-36, a Welsh win seemed very much on the cards, but unfortunately this moment saw the experienced Canadian gather herself, absorb the pressure and secure several key hits. Regardless, another Silver medal for Team Wales, and all the supporters to cheer to the rafters!
For the first time ever, para-fencing was included in the Championships, and what an introduction to it for Team Wales. On day 3, Gemma Collis dominated the poule in the Cat A WF, giving away a paltry 3 hits to set up a semi-final which she comprehensively won 15-5. The final was a similarly impressive performance, with Gemma winning Gold in style 15-4. Gemma now joins a rather elite group of Welsh fencers to have won Gold at the Commonwealth Championships.