Fencer Odette Hornby claims Southern Region gold

Odette Hornby

Odette Hornby

First published in Sport

PAMBER Heath teenage epee fencer Odette Hornby competed in two senior women’s competitions – the Aldershot Open and the Southern Region Championship.

At just 14, the Bishop Challoner School pupil was the youngest – and also the smallest – but that did not deter her.

In the Aldershot Open, she narrowly lost her elimination fight 15-14 to former British international Kate Howser, who had the benefit of her husband Chris Howser, a leading British Coach, coaching her in the break. The loss saw the Pamber Heath fencer finish 13th.

In the Southern Region competition, which covers Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Hampshire, Hornby was third after the poules.

But she went on to win the gold medal, beating Caryl Oliver of Australia. It was a convincing win for the teenager, despite the expertise of her opponent, who is the current Commonwealth champion.

The Leon Paul Junior Series ranking for 2012 have also just been updated and the Pamber Heath fencer finished third overall in the under-15 age group. Leon Paul sponsor a set of competitions around Britain and, at the beginning of December, Hornby won the Packwood competition.

She is coached by Matt Haynes, Olympic youth coach, and regularly trains both in the Basingstoke area and at the Reading Fencing Club.

The teenager is next in action in France at Basingstoke’s twin town, Alencon, and then travels to Poland for another competition both in March.

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