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Fencer thrusts himself onto a global stage

PUBLISHED: 14:23 03 February 2010 | UPDATED: 11:26 23 August 2010

EXCITING MONTH: Taran Nicholls.

EXCITING MONTH: Taran Nicholls.

A FENCING coach now ranked ninth in the UK will compete against top fencers from across the world when he takes part in two international competitions.  Taran Nicholls, 20, of Chapel Wood, New Ash Green, will be competing in international events in Lisbon

A FENCING coach now ranked ninth in the UK will compete against top fencers from across the world when he takes part in two international competitions.

Taran Nicholls, 20, of Chapel Wood, New Ash Green, will be competing in international events in Lisbon, Portugal, this Saturday, and in Tallinn, Estonia, on February 13.

Now a professional coach teaching at schools all over north Kent, Mr Nicholls started fencing when he took part in a pentathlon, a sport which involves five events, including fencing.

The former pupil of St John's Secondary School in Gravesend said: "It is something I have always been interested in. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to fence. I used to train in pentathlon, but I was training 15 times a week and it was too much, so I started concentrating on what I liked best and what I was strongest in, and that was fencing.

"I asked my coach how I would get into coaching, and it went from there, and I started teaching at schools."

Mr Nicholls, who moved into the senior rankings last year, will be competing against 40 fencers this month.

He hopes to take part in the Commonwealth championships in Sydney later this year, and has ambitions of being part of the GB squad at London's 2012 Olympics.

"This month is going to be very exciting," he said. "I am really looking forward to it. I have been doing a lot of training, up to three times a week. I would love to take part in the Olympics in 2012, but it will be very difficult to get into it - they are the top 25 fencers from all over the world.

"My family are very pleased with how I am doing. They keep saying how proud they are of me.

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