Colleague backs Anna Bentley to shine at Olympic fencing
Rising star James Davis has backed Norwich fencer Anna Bentley to perform on the biggest stage as Team GB prepare to gun for glory.
It was 1964 when Britain won its one and only Olympic fencing medal and Davis' efforts in the men's team and individual foil represent as good a chance as any to break that duck.
But Davis believes Bentley and her Team GB's foil colleagues can also deliver success for the women – be it solo or as a unit.
'I know Anna well and I know the team very well too – I've grown up with some of this lot on the team,' said Davis.
'They will do their best – I think Anna has got a good chance. I know with the draw some of them may meet each other possibly, so who knows what will happen but good luck to all of them.
'On the day Anna can do it – fingers crossed she will. It really is all about on the day of competition, the tactical battle. They are probably going to have the harder draws because of the rankings, but the home crowd is a big bonus to us.
'They will be behind us and they will be shouting us through the competition all the way. So fingers crossed she will do it.'
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Bentley's individual competition at the Excel Arena begins and ends on Saturday, with her favoured team event on Thursday.
Davis gets going on Tuesday – which meant he could take in Friday's opening ceremony – with his team event on Sunday week.
And with experienced Richard Kruse in tow – a helping hand to both Davis and Bentley in recent months – the Middlesex University student is hopeful of making an impact.
'We are a really good team,' said Davis. 'We've got a young team now and we are really hungry for it.
'And then Richard brings huge experience. This is his third Olympics so he knows what to do and how to do it, and we've got to look at what he does and see how it's done.'
Bentley will face Canadian Monica Peterson in her Olympics opener at the Excel Arena on Saturday morning.
The Norwich fencer has an 11am date with Peterson in the women's foil – and by the end of the day, the medals will all have been dished out.
Should Bentley make progress, then world championship bronze medallist and number three seed Lee Kiefer will be waiting in the round of 32.
The more experienced home fighter will be hoping she can overwhelm the 18-year-old American on her Olympic debut.
Bentley will also compete in her favoured team foil event later in the Games.