Connie, 83, wins world bronze

Norwich's Connie Adam is celebrating the biggest success of her sporting life after returning from the World Veteran Fencing Championships with a bronze medal.

The 83-year-old has won several European and Commonwealth titles and over 100 competitive medals during her long and illustrious career but despite 12 previous attempts she had not managed a podium place against the best in the world.

Adam, who only took up the sport when she retired, managed another first at the championships in Porec, Croatia, with victory over fellow Brit and former Olympian Janet Cooksey on her way to third place in the over 70's sabre.

'I am very proud of my achievement,' said Adam, who was 13 years older than anyone in the sabre competition. 'I beat competititors from France, Russia, the USA, Australia and Japan, and I even managed to beat Janet Cooksey. I'd never beaten Janet before and it was very pleasing.'

Adam finished behind fellow British pair Carol Wengraf, who took gold, and silver medalist Sylvia Brown.

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Adam admits the competition took a lot out of her but was spurred on by the support from the crowd.

'I was being cheered on by my team-mates and a lot of the competitors in the crowd. It helped a lot and kept me going,' said Adam, who admitted any thoughts she had of calling it a day have now gone, especially in light of her latest success.

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'I had said that I'd give up once I'd won 100 medals or was 100 years old. Well, I've now won over 100 medals so I guess it was just talk. I love the sport and I'll keep going as long as I can.

'I still train every week at the UEA and I've now got the national championships to look forward to and qualify for next year.'

Adam is completely self-funded but admits the expense of travelling certainly puts a strain on her resources and is on the look out for a sponsor. Anyone interested in helping the Octegenarian further her sporting aims should call on (01603) 453826.

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