GB fencing picks spark controversy

Seven fencers were yesterday named to represent Great Britain in individual events at the London Olympics, but the list was controversial to say the least.

Sophie Williams and Louise Bond-Williams have been selected for the women’s sabre, despite the fact Joanna Hutchison and Chrystall Nicoll are both ranked higher. Only two of the seven actually qualified – Richard Kruse and Polish-born Natalia Shepherd in the foil – while the other five have been awarded host nation spots.

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Williams and Bond-Williams are joined by foilist James Davis, Corinna Lawrence in the women’s epee and James Honeybone in the men’s sabre.

Three more will be named on 12 June so that Britain can compete in the men’s and women’s team foil competitions at the ExCeL Arena. Williams and Bond-Williams are currently ranked 73rd and 58th respectively, whereas Hutchison is 38th and Nicoll 50th.

No British fencer has won an Olympic medal since 1964.