Four medals for FS fencing team



Bloemfontein – Mariet Schröder clinched two of four medals won by the Free State fencers at the KwaZulu-Natal Open Championship that took place in Durban over the weekend.

The two-day national tournament is one of six tournaments in which fencers have to do well to be selected for the national team.

The fencers also used the championship as preparation for the Fencing Commonwealth Games to take place in Scotland in November.

The team comprised Schröder, Schaeffer Georgiou (who fenced in Epee) as well as Ruan Coetzee and Astrid van Essen (who both fenced in Epee and Sabre).

Schröder won silver in the women’s senior and gold in the veterans’ categories while Van Essen clinched bronze in the seniors.

Coetzee also got his name onto the medals sheet when he came out third in the junior men’s category to clinch the bronze medal.

“The championships went well, and we’re actually proud of them,” coach, Gunter Schröder told Courant Sport.

“We’re doing well. We currently have the strongest women’s sabre team in South Africa. We’re number one when it comes to that in the country,” he added.

“This year alone the team has had four fencers who received national (Protea) colours for their outstanding performance. It’s an amazing achievement.”

The Free State team missed the services of Bobby van Essen, who was unavailable due to a broken leg. He will be out for two months, but will still be going to Scotland.

Meanwhile, the Free State number one, Hananja Steyn, was also unavailable for the championship and is set to miss the Commonwealth Games as well.

Gunter highlighted that Mariet Schröder will also miss the international tournament.

The team will also be preparing for the Junior National Championship in Gauteng in a month’s time, as well as the Gauteng Open Championship in December.