Shel­don shines on the piste

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO and JUDE POIN­TON

Fenc­ing may bring to mind No 8 wire and post holes, but Shel­don Ogilvie has his mind firmly on epee, thrust and parry.

Ogilvie, 16, lives in Christchurch but grew up in Pukerua Bay and many of his fam­ily still live in Porirua.

He said he spent a lot of his hol­i­day time in Porirua.

The teen will be the first New Zealand fencer to at­tend the youth Olympic Games, which are held in Nan­jing, China, in Au­gust.

His se­lec­tion was based on a solid show­ing at the world cadets fenc­ing champs in Bul­garia in April, when he came 50th out of 139 com­peti­tors.

Ogilvie is ranked first in New Zealand in epee at un­der-20 and un­der-17 age groups.

He is real­is­tic about his chances against the world’s best in Nan­jing, but said the ex­pe­ri­ence would be worth the heavy train­ing sched­ule.

‘‘You get to test yourself against the best people in the world. I’d like to come in the top half, but I’m go­ing to push my­self.’’ So why fenc­ing? ‘‘I did play foot­ball as a kid, but since 2008 fenc­ing is what it’s been about for me. I can’t re­mem­ber why I started, but now I’m hooked.

‘‘There’s a small group of people who are se­ri­ous about fenc­ing in this coun­try; it’s a sport that not many know about.’’

Shel­don’s mother Leasa said from age 2 he wanted to ride a horse, shoot a bow and ar­row and use a sword.

See­ing fenc­ing at the 2008 Olympic Games on tele­vi­sion and dis­cov­er­ing a grand­mother was a fencer sealed the deal, she said.

Ogilvie’s coach Daniel Kai Sang Chan rep­re­sented Hong Kong as a fencer at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. He said his young charge’s com­mit­ment was im­pres­sive.

‘‘All year around he trains six times a week, in­clud­ing morn­ing ses­sions at 6.30am,’’ he said.

‘‘As his coach I am proud of him. Shel­don is a role model for the young people of this coun­try.’’

In the past two years, Ogilvie has at­tended camps and com­pe­ti­tions over­seas, in­clud­ing in Aus­tralia, Korea, Jordan and Italy.

He said fencers hit their peak in their late 20s and he hoped to rep­re­sent New Zealand at the Olympics one day.

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