New Malden fencer insists World Championships trip worthwhile


Foil specialist Sophie Troiano returned from Italy empty handed.


By Ben Baker, Sportsbeat, 0870 445 0156

SOPHIE Troiano might have come home from the World Championships empty handed but the New Malden fencer insists her trip to Italy was more than worth it for the knowledge.

The 24-year-old foil specialist took to the competition in Catania looking to put the disappointment of being overlooked for the European Championships three months earlier firmly behind her.

And former Wimbledon High School pupil looked on course to do this after breezing into the final 64, only to be handed a draw against five-time Olympic champion Valentina Vezzali, the Italian winning15-3.

But Troiano dusted herself off to go again in the women’s foil team event, helping the squad to victories over Puerto Rico and Mexico to finish 14th overall.

And the Lansdowne Fencing Club ace believes that while there is no shame in going down to the world number one and eventual champion, she is grateful for the run out ahead of London 2012.

“The fight with Valentina was always going to be a tough fight as she has won several Olympic medals,” said Troiano –who like the rest of Britain’s fencing squad is supported by Beazley.

“But that is why you come to World Championships. You want to test yourself against the best and that is certainly what I did.

“I felt as though I was getting better as the fight went on and that is probably down to the preparation I did going into the fight as we knew it was going to be tough.

“And the important thing is you learn from a loss and realise why you lose so you don’t do it again and that is what I will be doing.

“I feel that I have learnt a lot from just this one competition and going up against Valentina and I am ready now to go away and build on this and close the gap in the future.”

Troiano was joined in Catania by Jenny McGeever, the Teddington fencer making her debut on the world stage.

And after finishing 110th in the individual and 14th in the team event, the 19-year-old admits her Italian adventure was a real eye opener.

“The World Championships were tough but it was still good to test myself at this level,” said McGeever.

“This was always going to be more of a learning experience for me than about worrying about results and it definitely was that as I feel that I learned a lot.

“I now know about the pressure that comes with a big competition like this and I will be better prepared next time for that that is for sure.”

British Fencing is proudly supported by specialist Lloyd’s insurer Beazley. Go to for up to date fencing news, pictures and athlete blogs.

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