QATAR epee team assistant coach Artour Jamrozik exuded confidence about the sport’s future in the country, but emphasised that more work was needed to popularise the sport.
“Qatar generally does well at the Arab and GCC Championships. We’ve a new generation of fencers who are ASPIRE Academy products. The future is bright, but we don’t have proper age-group teams because there aren’t enough fencers,” Jamrozik told Doha Stadium Plus.
The Pole, who joined the coaching staff of Qatar team in 2013, had some impressive results during his stint with his country’s women’s team, with a fourth-place finish at the 2008 Beijing Olympics topping them all.
“Qataris are good enough to do well in top international competitions, but to achieve that target there has to be a long-term process. There should be more tournaments, where the country’s fencers can compete with the best. Qatar should also have a club competition to develop the sport,” added the 55-year-old, who worked with his national team for 10 years before moving to Egypt in 2010 and plying his trade there for three years.
Jamrozik also felt there was need for sparring partners for fencers during training.
“We’ve some talented boys in epee category, but they don’t have sparring partners. There must be a combination of right and left-handed fencers in a group. This is very important to improve their technique,” he said.
“In Qatar, there’s only one top competition because the international fencing federation allocates events on the basis of respective national federation’s activities. There should be more events. The players must travel abroad and take part in tournaments. That’ll help them gain exposure and confidence,” he added.
However, Jamrozik hoped the agreement between the Qatar Fencing Federation and ASPIRE Academy, signed in 2013 to include the sport in its curriculum, would reap rich rewards.
“The deal is a long-term plan and I hope it’ll help find more talented fencers,” he said. DSP