SHAKESPEARE Swords’ fencers have been selected to represent Great Britain this weekend as they take their first steps towards potential Olympic glory.
Barney Halliwell, Olympios Gougoulias and Sophia Potter will represent GB in World Cup qualifiers for Paris 2024.
Halliwell, from Wellesbourne, and Gougoulias, from Stratford, form part of an 11-strong GBR Men’s Sabre Squad travelling to Madrid, Spain.
And Sophia Potter, from Studley, joins a six-strong GBR Women’s Sabre Squad in Batumi, Georgia.
All three athletes will be competing against the world’s top fencers in what are the second qualification competitions on the world circuit with only a handful of places on offer in Paris next year.
Halliwell, aged 23, is ranked sixth in the country and 153rd in the world in his first international competition for several months as he makes his return from injury.
Gougoulias, aged 21, is currently ranked 364th in the world and 10th in the country and hopes to climb the rankings in his first full season at senior level.
Potter, aged 23, will compete in both the individual and team events and is British number four and 230th in the world.
Head Coach, Chris Buxton, said: “It is incredible to see that our club continues a decades-old tradition of producing some of the best sabreurs in the country who are able to compete at the highest level for Team GB on the world stage.
“It is really fantastic to see Barney back from injury and competing with the best in the world where he belongs.
“It is also great to see Olympios produce some consistently strong performances in his first season at this level. He has climbed over 100 ranking points in the last few months.
“Sophia too has had a consistent and strong season and remains there amongst the best.”