Witsies make it into Team South Africa at the continental fencing championships.

Two Wits Fencers are competing at the annual FIE Junior African Championships, currently taking place in Accra, Ghana.

Ayanda Tuku and Harry Saner, both second-year BSc students, were selected to represent South Africa by the Fencing Federation South Africa (FFSA) during the KwaZulu-Natal Open tournament in December, 2019.

The FFSA chooses fencers who are top-ranked throughout the year in various styles of fencing.

Saner has competed in international competitions several times before. “Between 2016 and 2020, I’ve competed in the Junior World Championships, Junior African Champs, Bahrain World Cup, Heidenheim World Cup, Senior African Championships, Senior World Championships and the Doha Grand Prix,” said the 19-year-old.

Tuku, who has been selected to represent the country five times before, but couldn’t travel because of a lack of finances, is competing in an international championship for the first time. This time, a fundraising campaign he initiated paid off as the money raised was enough to cover most of the costs for the tour.

“My biggest aspiration for this competition is to come back to South Africa with a medal. I’m aware that it’ll be a difficult thing to do, but I’m more than determined to go through all of that,” Tuku, also 19, told Wits Vuvuzela.

Saner, however, is going for gold. “I have the experience and I’ve done the work to say that confidently. Although I have this goal in mind, my main focus is to fence my best and remember my training and experiences to be able to make the right decisions to take me on a winning path,” the engineering student said.

The South African team in Ghana is made up of 24 participants, male and female, competing in three styles of fencing – foil, épée and sabre. The week-long championships finish on Saturday, February 29.

FEATURED IMAGE: Harry Saner takes on an opponent during a tense battle in Cape Town. Photo: Provided

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