|The British Olympic Association (BOA) has today confirmed Marcus Mepstead as the sole|
fencer who will represent Team GB at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games this summer.
Mepstead will take to the piste in the men’s foil Individual event, joins
Team GB in Tokyo for his second Olympic Games, having been
part of the team that achieved sixth place in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Prior to this, Mepstead
competed in the inaugural European Games in Baku in 2015, where he helped Team GB claim the gold medal in the team foil event, stunning reigning champions Italy in the final.
London-born Mepstead is currently ranked number one for men’s foil in the United Kingdom and 14th in the world. He cemented
his credentials as a world class fencer at the 2019 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary
where he won individual silver,
beating the world number one in the first round before overcoming top fighters from
Czech Republic, Russia, Poland, and Korea on the way to the final.
His performances throughout a qualification period interrupted by the pandemic culminated in a successful journey, including a further silver medal in Mexico City and an 11th place result in Turin, to finish as the number one athlete in the European Qualification Zone.
Mepstead’s journey to Tokyo has seen him turn challenges into successes. After British fencing lost funding in 2017, Mepstead’s determination to win gold in Tokyo saw him launch a personal training business, move to New York to work with an Olympic medal winning coach and elevate his performance. Two years later his silver medal at the World Championships allowed British Fencing to secure National Lottery funding to build his support team and access world class training and competition, putting him in a great position to challenge for a medal in Tokyo.
Team GB Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, Mark England, commented: “I would like to congratulate Marcus on this outstanding achievement, and we are delighted to once again welcome him onto the team.
“Marcus’ determination and consistency has been incredible to watch over recent years, and this has ensured that Team GB can be represented in fencing at another Olympic Games – something Marcus should be very proud of. Marcus brings with him great experience and fantastic talent and we know that watching him perform in Tokyo will be nothing but exciting.”
British Fencing Olympic Team Manager and Fencing Team Leader for Tokyo 2020, Johnny Davis, said: “Marcus has been on an incredible journey on the way to securing his qualification for Tokyo. Faced with challenging financial and logistical circumstances, Marcus met the challenge head on and created a world class environment and culture which has underpinned his qualification for Tokyo. Securing one of the two available individual automatic European qualification slots for the Olympics is arguably the most difficult route to Olympic qualification. For Marcus to have secured the number one European slot is an extraordinary achievement given the quality of the opposition he has faced in this Olympic cycle. His silver medal at the 2019 World Championships, coupled with strong results in Turin and Mexico City and consistent performances throughout the qualification period have provided the basis for his qualification and his current w
anking of number 14.
“Marcus has shown himself to be a determined, focused, resilient and astute athlete who is providing the next young cohort of British
encers with an ideal role model.
As British Fencing’s Olympic Team Manager, I have had the great pleasure of supporting Marcus over the last few years, and I look forward to him finishing this extraordinary journey with the success he deserves in Tokyo.”
A total of
71 athletes have now been officially selected to Team GB for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, taking place from 23 July to 8 August 2021. Fencing joins swimming, archery, marathon and race walk, shooting, triathlon, canoe, sport climbing and sailing as the sports booked onto the plane for Tokyo.