Norwich’s Anna Bentley books Team GB fencing berth at London Olympics
Former Norwich High School for Girls pupil Anna Bentley described her London Olympics selection for Team GB’s fencing squad on Tuesday as a “dream come true”.
The triple national champion and ex-Norfolk Academy starlet will compete in the women’s foil after the British Olympic Association (BOA) confirmed she was part of a 10-strong team.
Bentley had been training in Japan earlier this year to press her claims for inclusion in a squad bidding to win Great Britain’s first fencing medal at the Olympics since 1964.
She said: “I am absolutely delighted about being selected. It is the culmination of many years of hard work, sacrifices and it really is a dream that has become a reality. I can’t wait to compete in front of a home crowd and help the team achieve a personal best performance at the Olympic Games.”
The 31-year-old Aberdeen-born fencer will be part of a Team GB squad competing in all three fencing disciplines – epee, foil and sabre – at the ExCel in London Docklands.
British Fencing performance manager Alex Newton believes Bentley and the rest of Team GB can make the most of home advantage to fulfil their potential.
Newton said: “I am delighted that the BOA have confirmed the final three host nation places and the two reserves for the men and women’s Foil teams. We have a really strong team and I am confident that they will fulfil their exciting potential in London.
“Now that the final team has been confirmed, I am looking forward to working with the athletes, coaches and support staff to ensure that we are fully focused on maximising our performances as we enter these final critical stages of our preparation.”
Bentley’s call-up, along with Sophie Troiano in the women’s foil and Husayn Rosowsky in the men’s event, was also backed by Team GB chef de mission Andy Hunt.
He said: “I am delighted to welcome the final three fencers to Team GB, which completes our 10-strong squad for the London 2012 Olympics. The talent within the squad is extremely exciting, and our British fencers have made excellent progress since Beijing 2008, winning 13 World Cup medals and claiming four European Championship podium places.”