FENCERS Barney Halliwell and Sophia Potter, from Stratford-upon-Avon, have been named in the Team GB squad for the upcoming European under-23 Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
Halliwell, aged 23 from Wellesbourne, is part of a four-strong men’s Sabre team and will compete in both individual and team events.
Potter, aged 23 from Studley, will take part in the women’s Sabre individual and team events and both athletes fence for Stratford-based Shakespeare’s Swords.
The pair have just arrived back in the country having competed for Britain in Olympic qualifying World Cup’s in Madrid, Spain and Batumi, Georgia.
Halliwell said: “I am delighted to be selected for these under-23 European Championships.
“Not only is this the last year I am eligible for this competition , but it is actually the first time I will have been able to compete in it.
“I have missed out on doing so previously, mainly due to the pandemic, so this is really exciting for me.
“The best young fencers from across Europe will all be there, all trying to prove themselves in what is a pre-Olympic year.
“This is probably the biggest test to date since coming back from injury. I am getting back to my pre-injury condition and standing, able to compete at the highest level in the world.
“I hope next week will prove to be the next stepping stone to being back at the top.
“This time last year I had competed in a host of senior international World Cup and Grand Prix competitions on the world circuit as well as the Senior World and Senior European Championships.
“Just before my injury I had achieved my best domestic and international senior results to date, a silver in the British Championships and 22nd in the Europeans.”
For Potter, it will be one of her biggest competitions since winning silver and bronze medals at the Commonwealth Fencing Championships in London last summer.
Potter added: “This is probably the biggest competition for me since the Commonwealths.
“I am really pleased to have been selected for the team and keeping everything crossed that all the months of training over the last 12 months will pay off with a good result.”