Whilst last featured on the Commonwealth Games programme almost 50 years ago, Scotland has a proud history in Fencing, which continues to this day with medal success at the Commonwealth Fencing Championships. In the second month of our ‘Celebrating Our Past, Building Our Future’ Sport Focus, Fencing will be profiled alongside Table Tennis, as we continue to feature each of the 25 sports in which Scotland has competed at the Commonwealth Games.
Look out for all things Fencing on Team Scotland’s website and social channels this month as we delve into the archives for tales of past success and also look ahead to the rising stars of the sport in Scotland.
Fencing was first included in the Commonwealth Games in 1950 and was included in every Games over a 20 year period, with Edinburgh 1970 the last Games for Fencing to date.
Scotland’s Games participation grew over this period, from a single entry in 1950 to a team of eight men and four women at the Edinburgh 1970 Games. Medal success followed with Scottish fencers taking a total of eight medals between 1962 and 1970: two gold, four silver and two bronze. During this time period, men competed in all three disciplines: Foil, Epee and Sabre, while women competed only in the Foil.
Find out more about Fencing in the Commonwealth Games on our dedicated Fencing page.
With two gold and two silver medals for Scotland over three successive Games, Alexander Leckie is Scotland’s top Commonwealth Games fencer and our only gold medallist. He took Foil gold in Perth in 1962, silver in Sabre four years later in Jamaica, and then individual Sabre gold and Team silver in Edinburgh in 1970, the last time Fencing was in the Games. He also represented Great Britain at three Olympic Games.
The Edinburgh 1970 Games were by far Scotland’s most successful in Fencing with five medals won: one gold, three silver and one bronze. Alexander Leckie had won silver in the Men’s Sabre four years earlier, even while hampered by stitches in his knee after sustaining an injury in the opening rounds of the Foil. This time he made it gold, going undefeated in the final pool of six fencers. He also took silver as part of the Men’s Sabre team. Susan Youngs was also a double medallist, winning bronze in the individual Women’s Foil and teaming up with Judith Bain and Barbara Williams to win silver in the Women’s Team event. Scotland’s medal count was rounded out with a silver for the Men’s Epee team.
Team Scotland Fencing Medallists
|Alexander Leckie||Gold – Men’s Foil, Perth 1962 / Men’s Sabre, Edinburgh 1970
Silver – Men’s Sabre, Kingston 1966 / Men’s Sabre Team, Edinburgh 1970
|Susan Youngs||Silver – Women’s Foil Team, Edinburgh 1970
Bronze – Women’s Foil, Edinburgh 1970
|George Sandor||Silver – Men’s Epee Team, Edinburgh 1970
Bronze – Men’s Foil Team, Kingston 1966
|Gordon Wiles||Silver – Men’s Sabre Team, Edinburgh 1970|
|Alexander Mitchell||Silver – Men’s Sabre Team, Edinburgh 1970|
|P. Derek Russell||Silver – Men’s Epee Team, Edinburgh 1970|
|Ian Hunter||Silver – Men’s Epee Team, Edinburgh 1970|
|Judith Bain||Silver – Women’s Foil Team, Edinburgh 1970|
|Barbara Williams||Silver – Women’s Foil Team, Edinburgh 1970|
|Robert Wilson||Bronze – Men’s Foil Team, Kingston 1966|
|Jospeh Rorke||Bronze – Men’s Foil Team, Kingston 1966|
Fencing was included in the first Commonwealth Youth Games, held in Edinburgh in August 2000, with Individual and Team events in Foil contested for both men and women. Scotland won four medals, led by gold in the Women’s Individual event for Liz Wright. There were in fact two medals for Scotland in this event, as Nicola Ramsay took bronze. Liz and Nicola were joined in the Team Event by Tracy McKenzie, with the trio going on to win bronze. The men’s team of Brendan Forrester, Gordon Jamieson and Struan Zawalnyski also took bronze.
Since the change of Fencing from a core sport to an optional sport at the Commonwealth Games, the Commonwealth Fencing Championships have been held every four years on the same cycle as the Commonwealth Games. First held in 1974, Scotland have enjoyed medal success ever since, including 10 gold. Scotland hosted the Championships at Largs in 2014, finishing third on the medal table with three gold, two silver and five bronze. Individual titles went to Jamie Fitzgerald in the Men’s Foil and Georgina Usher in the Women’s Epee, while the Women’s Sabre team also took gold. Most recently, Chloe Dickson won Foil gold at the 2018 Championships held in Canberra, Australia, also leading the Women’s Foil team to victory.
The Commonwealth Games is the only occasion where Scotland gets to compete in a multi-sport event as a nation in its own right and is one of only six countries to have competed in every Commonwealth Games since their inception in Hamilton in 1930. Represented by 15 athletes participating in six sports at those first Games, winning a very creditable 10 medals, Scotland have gone on to win medals at every Games since.
Edinburgh became the first city to hold the Games twice in 1970 and 1986 and also became the first city to host the Commonwealth Youth Games.
Scotland hosted the Games for a third time when Glasgow welcomed athletes and officials to the XXth Commonwealth Games which was held from 23rd July – 3rd August 2014. Team Scotland celebrated their most successful Games in history, winning a total of 53 medals and went on to record their highest overseas medal tally ever at Gold Coast 2018.
Find out more about the Commonwealth Games and Team Scotland’s past success in our Past Games section.