IOC President Thomas Bach met Australian Fencers in Sydney

Australian fencers aspiring to reach the Olympic Games had a chance to meet a fencer who won an Olympic gold medal and went on to lead the Olympic movement.

The President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, met young Australian fencers on his visit in Sydney on 29 April.

Thomas Bach was a member of the gold medal winning German foil team at the 1976 Montreal Olympics and won the individual foil World Championships in Buenos Aires the following year.

At Sydney Olympic Park he met fencers who recently competed successfully in the Asian Junior (Under 20) and Cadet (Under 17) Championships in Abu Dhabi. The Australians won team bronze medals in Cadet Women's Foil, Junior Women's Epee and Junior Men's Sabre.

Also joining them were the Australian fencers who achieved a top 8 foil team placing in the World Junior Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Australian teams have been increasingly successful at Asian and World Championships in recent years.

The President of the Australian Fencing Federation, Andrew Ius, said: "It is encouraging to see the hard work of our athletes, their coaches and officials paying off with significant results in Asian and World championships. With dedication and a professional approach we can push on from here to reach the upper tiers of international fencing."

Australia's Foil and Sabre Coach, and NSW Head Coach, Antonio Signorello, said: "As we do in other sports, Australia has the potential to become a force in world fencing. We are well positioned in the Asian Zone which is now a rising powerhouse of world fencing challenging the traditional dominance of the Europeans. Our young fencers are learning the technical and tactical skills; the mental agility and resilience to win the battle of the blades."

Mr. Signorello is a former Italian Olympic team coach whose fencers have won Olympic and World Championship gold medals. He has practised in Australia since 2009 and is now an Australian citizen committed to advancing the standard of fencing at the highest competitive level as well as fostering grass roots development.

Photo : © Ian Jones/IOC

Source : olympics.com.au 

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