James Price - Fencing
2022 Training Grant
Since I received my 'Don Oliver Award’ I have had a busy off season. It has given me confidence to promote my sport and courage to put my hand up for the international Fencing circuit.
December 2022 saw me being selected to represent New Zealand by Fencing New Zealand (FeNZ) for three early 2023 international events on the back of strong finishes at the 2022 Fencing Commonwealth Games (U17's, 12th place finish) and the Open Men's Oceania Champs (14th).
In February it was the Australian U20 National Championships in Melbourne coming 10th place. This competition also saw me team up with NZ's three other top U20 fencers in the teams event. We pulled off a astonishing achievement battling through multiple direct elimination bouts to beat Queensland A (the default National Australian team) in a massive upset that left Australian fencing reeling to win the Australian Nationals for only the second time in history as the youngest team (all only 17) to ever do so.
In March I went to Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, to compete in the U20 Asian Fencing Championships, my first ever FIE (world fencing's international governing body) competition. I had an outstanding six pool matches, winning three against some of the best top 100 ranked fencers in the world to make the direct elimination round. I finished the competition in 45th place, entering the FIE world ranking system at 286th in the world becoming the highest ranking New Zealander on the U20 international Fencing circuit.
April it was to Plovdiv, Bulgaria for the U20 Fencing World Championships. I had a very tough pool and made several critical errors winning only one of my six pool matches but Icame away a lot wiser and buzzing from the experience.
July is my next big competition, the U20 Oceania Fencing Champs in Dunedin.
I'm still keeping up with my year 13 studies at High School, looking on track to come away with an excellence of high merit which I will need if I want to follow my dream of a University scholarship for studying and fencing in Japan in 2024.