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Pendle fencer Lucy-Belle can't be foiled in title bid
GOLDEN girl Lucy-Belle Williamson was on target again when she claimed the Epee Under-10 British Youth Championships.
It was another remarkable display from the 9-year-old Pendle fencer who only began competing in tournaments a couple of years ago - but now she is the British Youth Champion.
“Winning gold is amazing – I had to keep very calm until I had won the last point,” said Lucy-Belle, who lives in Barnoldswick.
“I’ve worked really hard this summer and have been away on training camp during the holidays as well as long days training with my coach, so it was incredible to win the medal.”
Lucy-Belle, who has been training 20 hours a week,won the final 10-4 and her coach Jim Lockyer is already tipping the Gisburn Road Primary School ace for Great Britain senior honours in the future.
Lockyer said “Lucy-Belle is one of the most talented individuals I’ve coached in 13 years.
“She works extremely hard and has a great desire to improve; which has led to the incredible level of success she has enjoyed over the past 18 months.”
Lucy-Belle regularly practices against other young fencers at her local club and is often seen challenging much older and experienced fencers.
“Fencing is an incredibly challenging sport and the dedication that Lucy-Belle has shown so far has made her the star she is now,” added Lockyer.
“Certainly, if she keeps up this level of focus and determinination then she will win GB senior honours when she is older.”
Lucy Belle’s normal fencing weapon is foil, which is lightweight, flexible and has a target area of just the torso.
Epee, though, is the most realistic form of fencing and very similar to weapons historically used for duals.
Scoring is electronic and blades are tipped with buttons to alert the referee to a point being scored, with competitors able to stab the opponent anywhere on the body from head to toe.
Lucy-Belle’s mother Jane Williamson thanked her daughter's coach for his dedication and support and added: “Jim has helped hone Lucy-Belle's skills and at the same time has set a foundation for her future in the sport. She only knows one way to prepare and that is to push herself as much as she is allowed.
“Pendle Leisure Trust recognised her dedication, commitment and ability early on and provided the facilities for Lucy-Belle’s training.
“The difference that I have seen since Lucy-Belle has been able to train in a hall rather than at home has been astonishing and without their support, this would not have been possible.”
Lucy-Belle plans to return to her main weapon (foil) and continue training and competing with the aim of top rankings in the regional and national tournaments, as well as setting her sights on national titles in both Foil and Epee Fencing next year.
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