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Australia secures YOG spot in Fencing

16 April 2014

FENCING: A Victorian teenager has returned from the recent Junior Fencing Championships as the likely Australian contender to compete at the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Nanjing, China this August.

Edward (Ned) Fitzgerald finished 28th out of 120 competitors in the Men’s Foil at the championships. The result places the teenager in the top spot for the Oceania Region and indicates he is the likely contender for the YOG.

Fitzgerald’s parents, Mark and Victoria, found out their son was in contention for the Youth Games in the early hours of the morning, just after he won his bout at the Championships.

“I actually did myself a back injury from jumping on the bed,” Mrs Fitzgerald said.

“I don’t think I’ve ever felt that excited or relieved.”

‘Ned’ Fitzgerald has been a standout in the sport for the last couple of years and at the age of 17 being selected for the YOG would be a great step forward.

In 2011, Fitzgerald came first in the Australian Junior Men’s Foils. Fast forward a year and he has taken out Men’s Epee in the Juniors and the Men’s Foils in the Cadet age group.

In 2013, the Camberwell fencer took out the Men’s Epee at the Australian Junior and Cadet Championships.

Mrs Fitzgerald sees her son’s achievements as a family affair and a reward for the whole Fitzgerald family not just Edward.

“Everyone in our family has made some sacrifices in order for Ned to have achieved this milestone in fencing,” Victoria said.

The Blacklords Fencing Club junior has competed all over the world with major events in Asia, Europe, New Zealand and even New Caledonia.

Fitzgerald’s goal is to firstly reach Nanjing 2014 and hopefully afterwards compete at Rio 2016 and or Tokyo 2020.

“Rio 2016 may be difficult for Ned as he will be studying for Year 12 in 2015,” Mrs Fitzgerald said. “Tokyo 2020 is the more realistic goal.”

The selection announcement for the Fencing team to compete at the YOG is expected in the coming weeks.

Australia anticipates sending one male and one female to compete in Fencing at the Youth Olympic Games, taking place in Nanjing, China from 16 – 28 August 2014.

Phillip Brent

olympics.com.au

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