Portsmouth & Southsea and Seacourt Fencing Clubs were very proud that two of their members, the indomitable fighting couple, Carl and Jenny Morris, represented their country at the Veterans World Championships which were held this year in Porec, Croatia. Only four people are selected from each country in each age group and weapon, so for this husband and wife team to qualify so consistently over the past few years is an awesome achievement in itself.
Jenny proved her outstanding quality by qualifying in all three weapons and was fencing exceptionally well in the run up to the competition. Carl, meanwhile, had been training hard in sabre to enhance his attacks and gain some easy points.
In the Women’s Cat 1 Foil, Jenny won 2 out of her 5 poule fights, meaning she was seeded 14th out of 29 going into the DE. The middle of the table can often prove a tricky place to be, but Jenny ground her way through the Australian, then German opposition before meeting a Japanese foiliste in the last 8 who beat Jenny 10-7. A great result for Jenny there, placing her 6th overall.
Jenny’s next competition was the Women’s Cat 1 Épée, which is one of Jenny’s strongest weapons (although none of her weapons can exactly be described as weak!). After the poules, in which she won 3 out of her 5 fights, she was seeded 15th out of 37. Jenny sailed through her first DE against a Hungarian, but then the wheels fell off when she had to face a 6′ 3″ American transgender épéeist, who exceeded Jenny in strength, power and a Y chromosome. Our Portsmouth épéeiste fought valiantly, but was unable to match the American épéeist’s force and her opponent went on to win the whole competition. Our girl Jenny came 14th.
So the Women’s Cat 1 Sabre was Jenny’s last chance to bring home a medal. Jenny won 3 out of 5 of her poule fights which gave her a seeding of 12th out of the 24 strong field. Things were going pretty well for Jenny who had a bye in her first DE, but then unfortunately she was taken ill in her next DE and had to retire. A sad note to finish on.
Meanwhile, Carl was in the Men’s Cat 1 Sabre, hoping to put his training into operation and bring home a gong for the boys. In the poules, he fenced very well, winning 4 out of 6 fights. He went up seeded 8th, top of all the GB fencers – a good start to the DE. In the first round of DE, Carl comprehensively beat his Japanese opponent, but was then up against his teammate Chris Prevett who fenced well to thwart Carl’s plans for Sabre domination. Carl finished 13th overall.
So the Morrises returned to these shores, light on silverware, but long on tales of olive-oil drinking, magic sunsets, merrymaking and derring-do. If you ask Carl, he’ll be delighted to show you the photos………zzzzzzz……zzz…..zzzzz