FENCING Siobhan Byrne 29th at Fencing World Championships

Monday 2nd Oct 2006

Ireland’s Siobhan Byrne 29th at Fencing World Championships

Ireland’s Siobhan Byrne exited the stage in 29th place at the 2006 Fencing World Championships in Turin, Italy this morning (2nd Oct). The twenty-two year old Ohio State University scholarship student went down 15-10 in her last 32 match to Lim Hye Kim of Korea; a fencer 21 places above Byrne in the world rankings.

After the match Irish team manager Nuala McGarrity said: “Siobhan realised her goal of reaching the last 32 here but she’s disappointed at the same time not to edge into the top sixteen after her strong showing in the pool stage. However it’s important to remember she only resumed full training three weeks ago after the injury she sustained. Siobhan earned valuable world ranking points here which will assist her on her journey towards her ultimate goal of Olympic qualification.”

Byrne had a strong showing in yesterday’s pool stage winning four of her six matches to advance to the direct elimination stage seeded 32 of the 64 competitors. Her best result in the pool stage came against Madoka Hisagae of Japan, 21st in the world rankings; Byrne defeating her 5-4 in a thrilling match.

Early this morning (2nd Oct), Byrne took on Italian Loreta Gulotta in her last 64 match and fenced confidently and shrewdly to take the match 15-10. An hour later she faced Kim of Korea (world ranking of 26) but the rankings rang true as Kim took the match 15-10 to advance to the last 16 and leave Byrne with an overall placing of 29th.

Funded under the Irish Sports Council’s International Carding Scheme, and Performance Planning Programme for the last number of years Byrne plans to take the next college year out to focus on Beijing qualification. Olympic Qualification in Fencing is particularly complicated and difficult.

There will be 34 fencers in the Irish fighter’s event in Beijing but 24 of these will qualify from next year’s world championship team event. The remaining ten qualifiers will consist of a handful of top ranked fencers who have not qualified via a team, with the balance from zonal qualifying competitions.

Byrne’s best chance for qualification will come in the European zone qualifier (April 2008); the top three at this event qualify. Byrne was desperately unlucky not to qualify for Athens at this event in 2004; she was fourth by a mere two hits missing out on qualification by the very narrowest of margins.

Ends.
Issued on behalf of the Irish Amateur Fencing Federation
For Further Information:
Sinéad McElroy, Irish Sports Council. 01-8608804 or 087-6338512

Website to watch:
www.fie.ch

Full results for Siobhan Byrne (world ranking of 47)
Pool Stage
Won 5-4 versus Irina Covaliu of Romania (no ranking available)
Won 5-0 versus Jessica Lacheta of Great Britain (no ranking available)
Lost 3-5 versus Irena Wieckowska of Poland (world ranking of 33)
Won 5-0 versus Adele DuPlooy of South Africa (no ranking available)
Won 5-4 versus Madoka Hisage of Japan (world ranking of 21)
Lost 4-5 versus Gudrun Johnannsdottir of Iceland (world ranking of 71)
• Seeded 32 of 64 going into direct elimination

Direct Elimination
Won 15-10 versus Loreta Gulotta of Italy (world ranking of 68)
Lost 10-15 versus Lim Hye Kim of Korea (world ranking of 26)
• 29th overall