A cut above! Young UK fencer wins two gold medals

Hannah LeBor, 17, is celebrating three separate triumphs at this month’s cadet and junior Commonwealth Fencing championships


A decade ago in Budapest, a young girl’s passion for fencing was sparked as she watched the London 2012 Olympics on TV.

Little did she know that in a few short years she too would be competing in international sports championships.

Now 17, Hannah LeBor is celebrating three separate wins at this month’s cadet and junior Commonwealth Fencing championships in London.

Hannah, who is studying for her A levels at Yavneh College in Borehamwood, won two gold medals and a silver fencing for Team England.

“I saw fencing on TV in 2012 and thought it was cool and interesting,” explained the teenager, who trains four times a week at the Knightsbridge Fencing Club.

She first began fencing at a local club in Hungary where the instructors soon spotted her fledgling talent and put her forward for competitions.

Hannah, who now lives in Edgware with her journalist and novelist father Adam, mother Katalin, and brother Daniel, said she “wanted to do a sport that is intellectually stimulating, not just physically difficult.

“However it is difficult entering your first major championship because you have to compete with people in the age bracket above who can be as old as 21.

“It is a bit scary, but it gets you out of your comfort zone. I would even say that being young is an advantage because there is so much room for you to learn.”

“My favourite part of the Commonwealth Competition was winning a gold medal in the individuals because fencing is often more of an individual sport than a team sport. Winning gold in the Junior Girls competition was also exciting because everyone was older than me as it included under-21s,” continued Hannah, who attends the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in St John’s Wood.

She was keen to champion the value of fencing and other sports to all young people, explaining: “Doing any sport as a young person helps with time management. It means you have less time to spend on your phone and more time to spend with people and get out of your bubble.

“It’s great meeting people with different views and backgrounds, it’s not just about getting physically fit or being talented.

“I am definitely hoping to try and qualify for the Olympics in about a year and a half’s time.”

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