Fencing ace is all cut up

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A disappointing show by GB in the European Championships in Sheffield last month has led to a review of funding for fencers in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics - and has left one omitted competitor “totally devastated” and considering his future in the sport.

New performance director Alex Newton said: “There are important things we can do differently and better in a short space of time.

“I’ve spent a lot of my time on research and analysis, including monitoring what other top teams are doing.

“We must tailor our programme to our talents and resources, but we will have a world-class system to produce world-class athletes.”

Under a new World Class Programme, the men’s foil quartet of Richard Krause, Laurence Halsted, Ed Jefferies and Jamie Kenber - Britain’s best chance of a first Olympic medal since 1964 - are given “podium level” status. They are currently ranked ninth in the world.

Twenty more are given “development” status, but they do not include epeeists Jon Willis and Nicolas Perry. Willis wrote on Twitter: “Totally devastated to be told that I have not been selected for the World Class Programme from August 2011.”