Morning everybody. The lamentations of my readers have driven me back to the keyboard after taking a couple of weeks off for the Olympics and to allow my bile levels to return - all that volunteering niceness takes a while to get out of my system.
The Shin Lam epée competition furore seems not to have died down: here's the Guardian's Lego recreation of the affair, and foul-mouthed, partisan animations can be found here and here.
In general, the Olympics appears to have been disastrous for British Fencing. Apart from the hysterical claims made of potential medals, the selection criteria controversy - gleefully leaked to the papers - and some terrible refereeing, this small, gossipy little sub-culture appears to be hell-bent on ripping itself apart. The CEO has announced his resignation, the President (a pompous and reactionary figure) has been voted out of his post representing British Fencing at the international referees' board, the one thing at which he was seriously good at and respected for, and the national coaching/performance directors are under attack. Even more laughably, ordinary fencers are being suspended from the sport for being rude about the directors on the Fencing Forum, setting off an I Am Spartacus moment… and annoying the regular commenters who assumed they'd been annoying enough to earn a ban. None of it is pretty, and it's all a bit depressing just as we should be preparing for the massive influx of new members which always follows the Games. Talk about being unprepared and unwilling to step up.
Anyway, time for a few of my favourite photos from the Olympic fencing - lots and lots more here. Click these examples to enlarge them. Funnily enough, a lot of the most dramatic shots are of the worst, wildest fencing. Oh, and hello, international fencers. Having sat next to a GBR fencer during one of the medal events, I now know that you spend your time Googling yourself.
|Attack from Chida on Avola goes astray|
Chida lands one on Avola
|Chida v Avola|
|Chida v Baldini|
|Chida (JPN) v Baldini (ITA)|
|Chida (JPN) v Avola (ITA)|
|Awaji lands a hit through Cassara's parry|
|Awaji lands a stop-hit on Cassara|
|Bachmann (GER) v Imboden (USA)|
|Bachmann v Imboden|
|Imboden appears to lack sympathy for Bachmann|
|Blaze (FRA) celebrates a hit on Nam Hyun (KOR)|