Middlesex Psychology student and Olympic fencer James Davis continues to impress in his fencing career after becoming the first Briton to win a Grand Prix title since 2009.
The Olympic quarterfinalist beat USA’s Alexander Massialas 15-12 in the final of the St Petersburg Grand Prix. “Winning my first Grand Prix is incredible," said Davis. "It feels great to be part of a small group of British fencers to ever accomplish this.”
On his way to the final, Davis beat European Champion and Olympic team Champion Giorgio Avola (Italy) – a strong favourite for the title - 15-12.
He also beat Marius Braun 9-8 – atoning for the loss he suffered at the German’s hands in last season’s quarterfinals in Wakayama. The semi-final matched Davis with Russia’s Artur Akhmatkhuzin, with Davis running out the 15-8 winner.
Davis described his final match against Massialas as “one of my most difficult fights. I started well with a 3-0 lead, but he wouldn't stop attacking, and soon took the lead.”
At one point Davis thought he’d scored a clean single light, only to see the American’s off target light come on. A video referral proved inconclusive so the score remained 14-12. Davis showed incredible composure to keep his form and eventually pick off his opponent with three parry ripostes in a row to win the title.
James, who's victory was covered by the BBC, thanked Middlesex for continuing to support him in his fencing career. “I am working hard to juggle my university studies and fencing commitments and, as I have said before, I couldn't ask for more from Middlesex University who have backed me from day one.”
Middlesex’s athletes have continued to impress since the Olympics. Only last week, our athletes bagged 11 medals in the British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) Championships, which included six golds.