Kowie hosts international fencing competition

Aphiwe Yengeni, 17, Axole Tokoto, 11, and Germany’s Dominik Geckeler, 18, won the first international epee team fencing competition held in the Eastern Cape at the weekend
Aphiwe Yengeni, 17, Axole Tokoto, 11, and Germany’s Dominik Geckeler, 18, won the first international epee team fencing competition held in the Eastern Cape at the weekend
Image: Christoph Weiblen

History was made when 58 fencers competed in an international epee fencing competition at the Port Alfred High School at the weekend.

The clash was between 17 Germans from Reutlingen, Baden-Wurttemberg, and 41 fencers from clubs in Nelson Mandela Bay, Buffalo City, Jeffreys Bay and Port Alfred’s Nemato club.

The competition came at the end of a week-long youth fencing cultural exchange programme between fencers mostly from Reutlingen and the Bay.

The project was the brainchild of Jessica and Jon-Paul Raper, a mother and son duo who have established two Olympic sports – modern pentathlon and fencing – in the Eastern Cape. Their partners in Germany are head coach Philip Pleier and Mark Lutz.

The programme was also associated with Global Fencing Network.

“Pleier was impressed with the passion of the [Eastern Cape] coaches and the enthusiasm of the fencers to learn from the Germans,” Jessica said.

“He commended the work they did to develop the sport among all cultural groups.”

To accommodate the participants, aged between 10 and 48, a mixed team competition was held.

Two fencers from Port Alfred’s Nemato fencing club, Aphiwe Yengeni, 17, and Axole Tokoto, 11, and Germany’s Dominik Geckeler, 18, won the 19-team event.

The two top Eastern Cape fencers, Jon-Paul Raper (senior) and Lebu Sondevu, 11, together with German visitor Bastian Zieger, 17, managed to finish only in third place.

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