Three-time Team Ireland Olympian Natalya Coyle got her Tokyo Olympic Games campaign underway today with an impressive opener in the Women’s Individual Fencing Round.
Coyle goes into day two lying in joint third position on the overall leaderboard with a total of 238 points.
Over the course of 17 rounds, the athletes competed in one-minute bouts against each other, with the total victories and defeats resulting in points that are accumulated and contribute to the overall total – Coyle’s final points reflect a total of 23 victories/12 defeats.
The Meath athlete took to the piste in confident style, immediately moving towards the top of the leaderboard, maintaining her place in consistent fashion throughout the bouts, with a really strong showing in the first half of the competition.
Keeping her composure over the course of the session, Coyle said that she enjoyed her competition opener.
“It was really good,” Coyle said. “I don’t even know the results yet, I don’t think I’ll look, because Pentathlon is one out of five. I know it started off really well, and I just feel really happy. I’m really glad to have done all the training and my coaches justice, so I’m really happy with that anyway.”
Coyle started strong and kept the pressure on throughout the round.
For the first time the fencing event was held on a different day to the remaining swim, horse ride, and laser run, something she took advantage of: “I was very pumped the whole way through there.
“Normally I try to conserve some energy, but we have more time, so I was pretty excited for each hit. It’s a long time where there’s a lot of mental energy expended. I think it’s three hours, but it flies by, I can’t believe it’s over.”
Fencing is a discipline that Coyle has done specific work on over the past few years, and that work was evident with today’s performance.
“I was really lucky in the Team Ireland holding camp in Fukuroi that I could bring some good fencers, and I think it showed out there in the piste today, it definitely helped.
“It’s the Olympics, the pinnacle of every sport, so you’re pretty much up for every fight.
“I think the big thing is to not ride every loss and normally say don’t ride the highs, but I think I rode them pretty well in the arena. Normally I try to stay calm in between rounds and just let it out on the piste.”
Tomorrow, Coyle will contest the 200m Freestyle Swimming, Fencing Bonus Round, Show Jumping and the Laser Run, and the athlete with the highest number of points at the end of all disciplines is deemed the winner.