KING Edward VI School’s Zachary Hamilton fenced superbly to win gold at the Millfield Cadet Sabre, whilst his fellow KES student Joe Pocknell finished second in this strong British U17 ranking event.
Their day started with both winning all of their group stage matches and they then made straightforward progress through the earlier elimination rounds.
The first half of 16-year-old Hamilton’s quarter-final against a United States-based fencer was close as Hamilton moved ahead by a single point. After the break, his performance improved and he went on to win 15-10.
Pocknell, 15, met the U20 Commonwealth bronze medallist in his quarter-final and he fenced intelligently and with confidence to beat him 15-7.
The Stratford duo’s opponents in the semi-finals were both strong fencers and have both been national age group champions.
However, Pocknell was tactically outstanding and beat his opponent 15-7 in a brilliant display, whilst Hamilton fenced well and led for the early part of the match, but the toll taken from his physically demanding quarter-final started to make an impact.
Despite this, he continued to fence positively and won 15-14 with an excellent attack.
In the final, Hamilton performed exceptionally with flawless attacks and he dominated the fight from the beginning to win 15-7.
Head coach Daniel Redshaw said: “Zachary and Joe were outstanding at this tournament.
“They fenced positively and with excellent decision-making throughout the day.”
Hamilton is the first ever KES student to win a British U17 ranking event and the pair’s results at this event have moved Pocknell up to second in the British U17 rankings and Hamilton to fifth.
Pocknell is the third different British number two King Edward VI School has had this season after Thomas Jackson, 16, and Barnaby Halliwell, 15.
Shakespeare’s Swords – the school’s fencing club – is the only club to have five fencers in the top ten of the British U17 boys’ sabre rankings, which demonstrates the extraordinary depth of talent the club has in this age group.
This follows on from the excellent performances at the U17 Commonwealth Championships in Cape Town, South Africa, earlier in the summer when Jackson finished sixth representing Wales and Chloë Halliwell, 17, finished eighth representing England.
Jackson was also part of the Wales team which won a team silver medal in the U20 Commonwealth Championships.