You are supposed to keep your friends close and your enemies closer but the old proverb failed to serve Chesterfield fencer Hannah Lawrence at the BUCS Gatorade Nationals.
The 25-year-old claimed a bronze medal at Sheffield’s Graves Tennis Centre but had to watch friend Caitlin Chang climb to the top of the podium to collect the gold.
Despite training together the pair were forced into a semi-final match-up that turned them into rivals.
It was Chang who came out on top and Lawrence expressed her disappointment at not being able to overcome her foe.
“I would have liked to have won though because I was ranked first going into the competition. I was looking to stay in that position but it was a tough semi final and Caitlin Chang deserved to win,” she said.
“To be honest it wasn’t that close for a semi-final. We do train together but we don’t often get matched together in competition. She went in the lead from the beginning and I was just working to catch up for the rest of the fight.
“It’s tough going up against someone you know really well but when you’re in competition you just have to get on with it and put friendship on hold. There were a lot of the British top-10 fencers here so I was delighted to at least come out with the bronze.”
The Sheffield University student has an action packed schedule coming up and will be back to training with Chang in preparation for the hectic competition schedule. While Chang might have got the better of Lawrence it will be business as usual for the pair as they seek to take on Europe’s best next month.
“We train together full-time and our team (Wingerworth Fencing Club) won the National Championships this year and we are going to Naples next month to compete in the European Championships,” Lawrence added.
“We are going to the Club European’s in Naples representing Great Britain next month.
“The club has grown in size and reputation and that is attracting people to train there. The coach there is really great and people go just for him, he’s really incredible.
“I’ll be looking to qualify for the Commonwealth this year that’s my aim; I’m ranked second in the country so it would be great to compete in Glasgow.”