On Friday 9 November, Francesco faced the strongest opposition in his career so far at the Cadet Circuit Competition in Budapest, Hungary. The field comprised of 277 athletes from many European countries as well as from Russia and Japan.
Francesco fought well and with passion, and after convincingly winning four fights out of six in the poule he easily made the cut ranking 91st with athletes from 194th to 277th being eliminated.
On the direct elimination round, Francesco was unable to express his talent, succumbing to an older fencer from Latvia.
In the end, he classified in the midfield, but the school can still be exceptionally proud of him as this was his first international U17 Cadet competition.
The next day (Saturday 10 November), Francesco was part of a team of three fighting again for GB fencing. There were 51 teams; this is the most enjoyable, but equally, the most intense form of fencing competition as the points go to 45 with each fencer fighting each other in rounds of five points each. Team GB5 (Francesco’s team) beat the Slovakian team in a nail baiting fight all the way to 45-41.
The next fight was with a Russian team, and that was always going to be an uphill struggle, the boys fought well, but at midpoint, they were significantly down on points. Francesco showed his fighting spirit, clawing back nine points but eventually, the point deficit was too , and they lost.
On Saturday 27 October in Nottingham at the BRC Under 17 foil cadet, Francesco also secured a bronze medal. Francesco was in remarkable form and was very determined to get the best possible result.
He had a great start winning with a large points margin in four out of five fights in the poule.
Francesco then proceeded to win three straight elimination fights, only to lose in the semifinals. However, Francesco delighted us with a stellar performance to enter the last eight, beating the current number three in the ranking in an epic battle that saw the match proceed to a riveting 15-14 with prolonged struggle for the last point with Francesco pushing forward and dominating the opponent and scoring the all-important final point.
This bronze medal also earned Francesco a place in the GB team to represent Great Britain in the competition of the European Cadet circuit that will be held in Germany in Halle in December.