By: Lwazi Maseko
Law Graduate, Andrea Cabanac took second place for National Tournament.
WITS fencer Andrea Cabanac won a silver medal and was placed second in the country at a national tournament, the Free State Open, in Bloemfontein on Saturday and Sunday, March 12-13.
Cabanac started fencing in 2015 with the Wits Fencing Club. She told Wits Vuvuzela the goal of the weekend was to qualify for the African Championships in June, 2019 despite the competition being intense.
“It was a tough competition for me, just psychologically: Dealing with work and training on the side versus being in varsity has been very different, but I managed to win a medal which was important for the [Wits Club],” the Wits LLB graduate said.
The 23-year-old said although she was losing in the quarterfinal, she bounced back and managed to push through to the semi-final.
“The quarter final was very difficult. I was losing 10-4. I came back in the last minute and I won 12-11. Psychologically, I had my whole team behind me; they were screaming. They called it ‘the comeback of all times’. I had a minute to score those points and I went into beast mode,” said Cabanac.
Although she lost the final to a full-time fencer, which she says was hard for her, Cabanac said she knew she could beat her opponent next time – and she will.
The captain of the Wits Fencing Club, Daniel Chen, told Wits Vuvuzela that Cabanac was a great role model for the team.
“She has great education, excellence, and is always doing her best. She is undoubtedly the leader of the Wits Fencing Club. She is one of the leaders in terms of skill and dedication, and she is the heart of the team. She is our pride,” said Chen.
Cabanac said she hoped to qualify for the African Championships 2019 and to finish in the top 75%, as the top finishers get to participate in the World Championships in Budapest in July. Her long-term goal, however, is to qualify for the 2024 Olympics. According to the website South African Fencers, the tournament is a qualification cut-off for the Senior African Championships and Senior World Championships.