Tokyo 2020 - Marcus Mepstead picked as Team GB’s sole fencer for Olympic Games in individual foil
The world number 11 will head to Tokyo on the back of winning an individual silver medal at the World Championships in Budapest two years ago and having claimed multiple medals at the European Championships. Japan will be the second Games for the 31-year-old, having been part of the British team which came sixth at Rio 2016.
Evolution of fencing at the Olympics - one of four sports to appear in every Games
Marcus Mepstead will be Team GB’s sole representative in the fencing competition at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The 31-year-old will compete in the individual foil event at his second Games, having been part of the British team which finished sixth at Rio 2016.
Mepstead is a reigning World Championship silver medallist, having finished second at the sport’s most recent big event in 2019 in Budapest - beating the world number one in the process - having overcome significant setbacks to rise to the top of fencing.
The London-born fencer was dealt a significant blow in 2017 when the sport lost its funding, leading him to start up his own personal training business and move to New York to work with an Olympic medal winning coach.
His silver medal two years was enough to secure funding from the National Lottery, allowing him to build a support team in his push for Tokyo.
“Marcus has been on an incredible journey on the way to securing his qualification for Tokyo,” said British Fencing Olympic team manager Johnny Davis.
Faced with challenging financial and logistical circumstances, Marcus met the challenge head on and created a world class environment and culture which has underpinned his qualification for Tokyo.
“Securing one of the two available individual automatic European qualification slots for the Olympics is arguably the most difficult route to Olympic qualification.
“For Marcus to have secured the number one European slot is an extraordinary achievement given the quality of the opposition he has faced in this Olympic cycle.
“His silver medal at the 2019 World Championships, coupled with strong results in Turin and Mexico City and consistent performances throughout the qualification period have provided the basis for his qualification and his current world ranking of number 14.
“Marcus has shown himself to be a determined, focused, resilient and astute athlete who is providing the next young cohort of British fencers with an ideal role model.”
Mepstead’s selection takes the number of confirmed Team GB athletes heading to Tokyo up to 71.