Heloïse Hardie is celebrating after winning a bronze medal in the Senior British Fencing Championships at the weekend.
And the former Blessed George Napier pupil from Banbury has her sights firmly set on the 2024 Olympic Games.
The 16-year-old has been fencing foil since the age of eight and left BGN last summer following her GCSEs in order to concentrate on her fencing. She now trains full-time at one of the best fencing clubs in the country, Fighting Fit Fencing, which is based at Archway in London.
The weekend’s prestigious senior competition always draws the best adult fencers from across the country. Hardie won three out of her five qualifying bouts and was ranked 15th at the end of the round of poules.
In the direct elimination, Hardie made her way comfortably into the last 16 with a decisive 15-2 win and then came up against the number two ranked British female foilist, who she beat in a nail-biting fight 14-13. She went on to make the semi-final 15-12 by defeating a fencer from Edinburgh University.
In the semi-finals, Hardie came up against her Fighting Fit team-mate Kate Beardmore, the number one ranked GB fencer at both under-20 and senior level. Beardmore won 15-10 and went on to win the championship.
But Hardie was still delighted with her bronze medal at the important British senior competition. She has represented both England and Great Britain at under-15, under-17 and under-20 level in competitions in Europe.
She is already gearing up forher next tournament, which will be the British Youth Championships in Sheffield on Saturday before a senior competition in Copenhagen at the end of May.
She said: “My long-term ambition is to represent Team GB at the 2024 Olympic Games.”