History was made at the cadet and junior Commonwealth Championships by Salle Ossian fencers. Over 250 athletes from 15 Commonwealth countries descended on Cape Town, South Africa from 11th – 17th July 2015. Salle Ossian fencers competed in the men’s u17, women’s u17 and u20 events. In the men’s under 17 event, Mark Alvares, Toby Carter and Sam McLellan, all still only 14yrs old, fenced well above their ranking taking last 16 places. Toby and Sam took out strong England players and Sam nearly caused the upset of the day, taking the Championships no.1 seed to a nail-biting 13-15 score. The three lads from the Perth based fencing club have gained tremendously from the experience and are still young enough to compete in the next Junior Commonwealth Championships in three years time.
In the ladies under 17 event, Jess Corby was up against a strong field but was able to persevere to put out the South African no.1 and England no.1 on the way through to the final. She won the final in impressive style against the Welsh no.1, winning 15-2.
Jess was then joined by club-mates Kate Daykin (fellow senior Commonwealth Team gold medallist) and Sarah-Jane Hampson for the under 20 individual and team events. Again, the Salle Ossian fencers performed well above ranking and the 3 Scotland fencers made the last 4 medal positions. Jess and SJ took out the England no.1 and Singapore no.1 respectively on the way through to the podium. Unfortunately Kate and Jess met in the semi-final which Jess won 15-13 before going on to win the final against the England no.2 in impressive style winning 15-5. But that meant three medals for Scotland and Salle Ossian and a second gold medal of the Championships for Jess.
In the team event it was a Scotland – England final. After a nervy start to the day, the team had a relatively straightforward match against South Africa to help settle down to the main event of the day against a high competent England team. It promised to be a tight match, but it was SJ Hampson who, despite a year of surgery, physio and recuperation, put in some very gutsy performances to ease Scotland towards the gold with a surprise 45-30 win.
A few records were broken in terms of medals won at a Commonwealth Championships by a single club from Scotland, but most impressive is the fact that Jess Corby became the first woman to take gold medals at the senior, under 20 and under 17 Commonweatlh Championships in the same year.