THORNBURY teenager Tabitha De N’Yeurt, 14, fresh from winning gold at the prestigious Leon Paul International U15 in early August, has returned to the Leon Paul Fencing Centre in London to battle through the U20 Junior British Ranking competition.

She was against much older and experienced fencers many of whom represent England and Great Britain internationally.

In the poules, she fought six other girls to five hits, winning four bouts and losing two.

This placed her in the top twenty fencers before the direct eliminations – or knockout stages – of the event.

After a valiant battle, which she just lost her DE contest 15-9 and she finished 20th, a very impressive display in her first competition at this level.

Tabitha has started the season strongly and is looking forward to the season ahead. The next big competition is the U17 Cadet British Ranking again in London in September followed by the Manchester International Junior event in October which hosts the best fencers from around the world.

In her August event at the Leon Paul Junior Series for under-15s, in the first round of fencers, De N’Yeurt faced six boys from Europe, Canada and USA.

Winning three fights and narrowly losing three, she was ranked 12th out of 23.

The girls fenced each other in the next round with Tabitha upping her game to win all but one fight, losing by one hit.

This put her in pole position going in to the direct elimination rounds.

In her semi final fight, she won 15-6 against American Alys Champion. Tabitha met fellow left handed and South West fencer Isabel Keniston-Cooper in the final.

And, after a nervy start with each fencer scoring consecutive points at 4-4, Tabitha started to pull away and, at the first break was 12- 5 up.

She scored two quick points to take the score to 14-5, one away from victory, as Isabel changed strategy and took the next two hits. Tabitha regained her focus to take the decisive final hit.