J'can fencer Tia Simms-Lymn mines silver at Wratislava Challenge
JAMAICA'S Tia Simms-Lymn won silver at the 2014 Wratislava Challenge, the largest and most prestigious Under-15 fencing championship in the world with over 2,000 fencers to the city of Wroclaw in Poland.
This year, fencers from 31 countries took part in the championship which runs from March 27 to April 1, and includes the events foil epee and sabre in the Under-15, Under-13 and Under-11 age groups.
Simms-Lymn took the silver medal in the Under-15 girls' epee. Tia, who is a pupil at Plymouth College and Plymouth Fencing club in England, travelled to Poland with high hopes, having finished ninth in the 2013 championship.
Simms-Lymn fenced brilliantly, dispatching on her journey to the silver medal 58th seed Teresa Jasna of Czechoslovakia 15-5, the previously undefeated seventh seed Aleksandra Pernach of Poland 8-3, Maria Ivanova of Russia 15-7, Bianca Benea of Romania 15-10 and the second seed Anna Spatenkova of Czechoslovakia 15-12.
The semi-final against another Czech, Katerina Saligerola, was an epic battle, but Simms-Lymn was able to carve out a 15-14 victory.
In the final she faced Russia's Anastasia Soldatova who won 12-5.
Andy Hill, Tia's coach, was proud of his fencer who he has coached for six years. "Tia moved up a level in world terms today and this will stand her in good stead for the World Under-17 Championships in Plovdev, Bulgaria.
"I am incredibly proud of her. She is a very determined young person and after this the sky is the limit."
The hard-working president of the Jamaica Fencing Federation (JFF), James McBean, stated: "Tia is a golden talent and world beater with a marvelous future. She has my vote."
Meanwhile, Christopher Samuda, chairman of the JFF, commended James and Hill for their abiding commitment in establishing Jamaica on the international stage in fencing, saying: "They are paving the road to Rio and we are very optimistic that it will be lined with gold."