24 February 2024

A Year in Fencing

10 January 2024

On the rare occasion that we make it in to No. 28 Clyde Road before the morning bell, we get to enjoy the enthusiastic greeting of the Davitt brothers, Martin and Michael, on the timeless black-and-white tiles of the entrance hall: bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and ready for the day, these boys bring exhibit the old-fashioned charm and chutzpah for which St. Conleth’s is famous. Martin has an impressive sporting record of his own, but today we recount the fantastic year of fencing accomplished by his brother Michael.

In October 2023, at the Irish Open Competition, held at the Sport Ireland Campus at the Senior Level, Michael exhibited a commendable performance by advancing from the pool stage to the direct eliminations. Unfortunately, he was defeated by Eoghan Ó Hanluain in the DE32 stage, concluding the competition in 27th place overall. His fellow Conlethians, Myles Moriarity Smith and Michael Li also competed. The following day, at the Irish Open Competition at the U14 Level, Michael again demonstrated his skill by progressing from the pool stage to the direct eliminations. He secured a bye into the next round based on his pool results and faced his fellow Conlethian classmate Edouard Barkan in the DE8 stage, defeating him to reach the semifinals. Michael secured a bronze medal despite being defeated in the semifinals.

In November, Michael participated in the Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series – Round 1 – U14, where he delivered an impressive performance in the pool stage, earning a No. 2 seeding for the direct elimination stage. After working his way to the final, he was defeated by Christopher Allsop, earning a well-deserved silver medal. In the Pembroke Fencing Club – Christmas Cup – U14, Michael again secured a No. 2 seeding in the pool stage, progressing to the final with strong scores. Although he was defeated in the final, he earned a well-deserved silver medal. And in December, Michael entered his 1st international competition of the season at the U14 International Open in Flawil, Zurich, Switzerland. Completing the pool stage with a No. 5 seeding, he progressed through the direct elimination stage. In the semi-final, he faced the Swiss No.1 and, despite a valiant effort, was defeated 10-7, securing his first international bronze medal. Michael’s impressive medal tally for the season (thus far!) currently stands at 1 Gold, 2 Silver, and 2 Bronze. What a year in fencing!

by Charles Latvis

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