Faa’iq hooked on duelling

2015-07-07 06:01
Faa’iq Gamieldien from Grassy Park is currently ranked fourth in the under-20 men’s foilist in South Africa.  

Chevon Booysen

Faa’iq Gamieldien from Grassy Park is currently ranked fourth in the under-20 men’s foilist in South Africa. PHOTO: Chevon Booysen

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He is just 17 years old and is already considered a champion of sorts.

Faa’iq Gamieldien from Grassy Park only started fencing in 2005 and is currently fourth-highest ranked u.20 men’s foilist in South Africa.

Faa’iq says his passion for the sport started the moment he entered primary school.

“I was in Grade 1 when I first saw the sport. I was hooked immediately,” he says.

The flighty footed teen says although fencing is not a common sport, he enjoys it very much.

“I used to play rugby as well but had to stop because injuries would then impact on my fencing performance. I have to be in top shape when competing, so had to make sacrifices between the two sporting codes,” he says.

He adds the sport has opened doors for him and he especially enjoys the travelling when competing internationally.

“I have seen many different countries since I started competing professionally. The fun part also comes when I meet new people and familiarise myself with the different countries,” he says.

Faa’iq, who is competing in the Commonwealth Fencing Junior Championships and the inaugural Commonwealth Fencing Cadet Championships in Cape Town this week, says he is ready to face his international competitors.

“I have confidence that my team and I will bring home gold. Although we will not underestimate the competition, I know we are capable of taking gold,” he says.

The competition will take place at the University of Cape Town’s sports centre from Saturday to Friday next week.

Garreth Bloor, mayoral committee member for tourism, events and economic development, says the competition will draw participants from 14 countries.

“The City is proud to be the first African host of the championships. This dynamic and fast-paced sport is enjoyed by people of all ages,” Bloor says.

Fencing has three disciplines or weapons: Foil, epee and sabre. Each discipline has its own rules.

The sport comprises individual and team events. A team is made up of four members, consisting of three starting fencers and a reserve. The combination of starting fencers and reserve changes according to opposition as the starting line-up is chosen to match and, hopefully, beat the opposition.

Faa’iq is part of a team of three Western Cape foilists who form the core of the u.20 and senior national foil team. All are members of Fencing Western Cape.

Faa’iq has competed in one junior world championship, one junior African championship and last year’s Youth Africa Games.

His teammate, Robert McGregor from Constantia, is 19 and is currently the top ranked u.20 men’s foilist in the country. He has competed in five junior world championships and two junior African championships and has been fencing for 10 years.

Another teammate, Alexander Collings from Claremont, is 18 and is currently ranked third among u.20 men’s foilists in South Africa. He has competed in two world championships and two junior African championships and started fencing in primary school

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