BARNEY Halliwell returned to the podium with a silver medal in the men’s sabre event at the British Fencing Open Championships in Sheffield.
The Wellesbourne fencer claimed a first medal since returning from injury last month following knee surgery which has forced him out of action for the majority of the season.
However, the 23-year-old, who fences for Shakespeare’s Swords Fencing Club in Stratford, insists this medal is just the beginning as he attempts to return to his best form.
Halliwell said: “It has been a hard road back to recovery and it is not over yet.
“I know I am still not back to where I was before the injury, but to return to the podium is just the incentive I need to prepare for next season, which of course is an Olympic year.
“The real work starts now.”
The Stratford-based club had six athletes finish in the top-20 of the men’s sabre competition as Ryan Olsson (seventh), Liam Croft (11th), Olympios Gougoulias (13th), Louis Bedford (16th) and Yoji Hiyama (17th) all impressed.
Additionally, in the women’s sabre, Sophia Potter came seventh as the British number four earned selection for the European Championships in Poland as well as the World Championships in Italy next month.
Potter, from Studley, said: “It is a total honour to have been picked to represent my country for two of the biggest competitions in the world, where everyone will have an eye on Paris 24 qualification.”
Shakespeare’s Swords head coach, Chris Buxton, said: “Sophia being selected for the GBR Squad for both the European and World Championships is massive and a credit to her hard work and dedication.
“It is the icing on the cake after Sheffield. Seeing Barney get silver and so many Shakespeare fencers in the top-20 was just amazing.
“It just proves that Stratford continues to produce some of this country’s top fencers who then often go on to represent Great Britain on the world stage.”