"Fencing is a spectacular sport"

L’Assaut, Sciences Po’s fencing team, has just returned from the latest French University championships with four medals, including two gold. Interview with team captain Adrien Dorny.

Adrien Dorny, you and your team have returned with four medals including two gold from the latest French University Fencing Championships. Is this a consecration for your fencing team?

We are very proud of these results! Four medals, it's the most we’ve won at French University championships. The two team golds make us particularly happy. For the ladies, the champion title of France is all the more rewarding because it all played out in the very last moments of the final. As for the men's, we were really eager to win the gold since we had taken home the silver last year. All our shooters leave medalists, we couldn’t imagine better!

Since when have you practiced fencing? How do you articulate the time spent studying and your passion for the sport?

Most of us started fencing very young. The sport is a really important part of our lives. We have many associated memories. It allowed us to forge friendships, face defeat, or to gain confidence. More specifically, fencing is a spectacular sport, particularly tactical, where endurance, speed, precision and risk-taking are valued. Combining studies and training in our respective clubs and university and federal competitions has been, since high school, a challenge for all of us. It’s not always easy in everyday life, it requires good organization.

Tell us about your team, L’Assault. Does one need to be a champion to join?

This year we had eight qualified members for the French championships, from the Undergraduate College (Paris and Reims campuses) and the Master's level, and from the Certificate Programme for high-level athletes of Sciences Po. A wise mix in short! In total, our team consists of about fifteen members regularly participating in university competitions. But we welcome everyone, beginners and advanced. I encourage all Sciences Po students to discover this fascinating sport through the sword initiation courses offered by the Sports Association. For those who practice or have already practiced fencing in the past, we expect to see you next year to continue to garnish our trophy cabinet!

How do you see your team’s future in the years to follow?

Our team was created in 2015, so it’s still quite young. We want to continue to develop it to make it one of Sciences Po’s main teams. This, of course, will require winning more medals at the French university championships, but also recruiting more members and having an effective communication with students. Ultimately, one of our goals would be to have fencing recognized as a "mystery" sport at the inter-IEP tournament, the "Crit"! I’m sure our fencers would greatly help Sciences Po win the competition.

At the 2018 French University Championships, Amelie Awong (épée) and Adrien Dorny (foil) each won a bronze medal in the individual event. The women’s fencing team, composed of Amelie Awong and Mailys Vignoud, and the men's foil team, composed of Gautier Merit, Victor Querton, Adrien Dorny and Audric Heurtier, each won a gold medal.

In three years of existence, L'Assaut, created in 2015, has won eight national medals, including four gold.

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