A young fencing talent put in an impressive performance on the international stage at the weekend.

Ed Howlett, 14, reached the second day of competition at the Marathon Fleuret, an under-15 event that attracted competitors from across the world, in Paris.

He finished the tournament ranked 75th out of 439 fencers after his competition was ended with a controversial 10-8 defeat to French fencer Paul-Antoine De Belval.

There were a number of contentious decisions during the contest, including the referee disallowing two seemingly legal points for Howlett.

“There were a number of strange decisions from the referee,” said Howlett, of Farndon.

“He let the clock run down by about ten seconds, which in fencing can be the difference between winning and losing.

“A couple of shots I should have been awarded were a little hard to take, but ultimately you have to accept the referee’s decision and move on.”

Howlett, who has been competing for three years, said the higher standard of fencing was the most striking difference to previous competitions.

“I was pleased with my performance. It was my first time fighting in another country and it was a great new experience,” he said.

“The quality of the fencers is a lot different to I was used to. It made me realise how much work I have to do to be competitive.”

He said his success at the competition only made him hungrier for more of the same.

“I would like to have gone further in the competition but for my first time I was happy with the quality of my fencing.

“The weekend has put everything into perspective for me, that actually I have a lot to give and a lot to work on.”

He had made light work of his early rounds, collecting five wins from six bouts in the first set of poule matches.

After three more wins and one defeat in the second-round, Howlett defeated Nils Fabinger, of Germany, 10-6 to secure his passage into the second day.

With two wins and two defeats, he set up his first knockout fight with De Belval.




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