Fencing bronze for oldest competitior - aged 74

Salle Ursa member beaten by top seed, 22 years younger

Vivien Frith

Stretton under Fosse fencer Vivien Frith won a bronze medal at the recent veterans’ fencing championships in Manchester, when, despite being the oldest competitor in her 19-strong women’s sabre event at the age of 74, she finished equal third.

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The format for these championships, which are open to all fencers over the age of 40, is two rounds of poules, in which groups of six fence each other, followed by direct elimination. This stage involves scoring 10 hits within 6 minutes with a 1-minute rest after 5 hits.

Fourth seed after just two defeats in the poules, Frith had a comfortable 10-6 victory over Joanne Yeates in the quarter-finals to reach the semis where she faced the formidable No. 1 seed and eight-time national champion Beth Davidson. A 4-10 defeat was a respectable score against someone 22 years younger. Frith fences at Salle Ursa in Warwick.