Dronfield fencer James Jeal is crowned British junior champion

Fencer James Jeal, who is the new British junior champion.
Fencer James Jeal, who is the new British junior champion.

Fencer James Jeal, of the Dronfield-based Derbyshire Epee Academy (DEA), has his sights set on a place at the 2024 Olympic Games after he was crowned British junior champion.

Jeal took on the best fencers in the country to take the title in London, which followed the gold medal he won the previous week at the first Junior GB Quailfier of the season and the British Youth Championship for U18s that he landed earlier in the year.

DEA coach Tony Klenczar said: “This is another great result for our fencers, who have won six British championship titles at senior, junior and cadet levels over the last three years.

“We now want to press on and get more good results in the European competitions, with James representing Britain next month. There is a wonderful vibe and togetherness in the club, which is a vital part of our success.”

The 17-year-old Jeal won all his poule fights in London before fighting back from 12-9 down with only 15 seconds remaining to beat Billy Sheperd, of Skipton, 13-12 in the semi-finals.

In the final, he beat Harry Palmer, of Leicester, 15-9 and duly moved up to number four in the British rankings in his first year at junior level.