Donna Landahl wins first fencing medal

Gazette & Herald: Donna Landahl, left, in action Donna Landahl, left, in action

NORTON’S Donna Landahl is aiming to make a point in the fencing arena after winning her first-ever medal.

The 26-year-old  took silver in the Cocks Moor Woods Epée Championships in Birmingham, her eighth competition, winning every match in her pool before getting through the quarter-final and semi-final knockout rounds.

She is now ranked 158th woman in the UK standings but is aiming to continue climbing the ladder, with the Hereford & Worcester Open next up this weekend. That follows last weekend’s Beazley British Championships in Sheffield, her first-ever British meet, in which she came 54th out of 64 competitors, admitting the standard was an “eye-opener”.

However, aside from individual aims, she is also keen to promote the sport in the Ryedale area, having taken it up herself two years ago.

“I’d recommend people give it a go at Malton Fencing Club – it’s definitely worth a try,” she said.

“It’s not just a physical thing – it’s quite mentally challenging too. It improves all sorts of skills.”

She added: “It’s social too, and everyone gets on well.”

Landahl took up fencing after her step dad suggested she might be good at it.

She began at York University’s fencing club before discovering Ryedale Fencing Club, based at Malton School, where they practise every Wednesday under “maître” Donald Walker.

Landahl also fences out of the Four Of Clubs club in Cheshire, to which she regularly travels for lessons under Philip Bruce, the president of the British Academy of Fencing, and does fitness training at Richard Scarth’s ‘boxercise’ classes at the Workhouse gym in Malton.

She added: “I was told my reactions are quite quick and that I’m quite light on my feet so it might be good to try it.

“I now love it. It’s addictive and I got the bug.”

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