For the first time in history New Zealand will be represented in Fencing at the Olympic Games by a woman. The New Zealand Olympic Committee in conjunction with Fencing New Zealand announced Auckland’s Jessica Beer in the Athens team. Jessica won the Asia/Oceania Olympic Zone Qualifying competition held in Manila in April, qualifying in the individual women’s epee event. She is the first female New Zealand fencer to make an Olympic team and breaks a twelve year drought for the sport at the Olympic Games, since Gavin McLean was selected for Barcelona in 1992. New Zealand Olympic Committee Secretary General Barry Maister says it’s great to see fencing back in the team. “We all remember the fantastic performance of Martin Brill winning an Olympic diploma in finishing seventh at the Seoul Games in 1988. Jessica has recorded many creditable international performances in recent months and we fully believe she will perform with distinction in Athens.” Martin Brill, president of Fencing New Zealand said "In winning the women's epee event at the Asia/Oceania Olympic Qualifying Competition in April, Jessica demonstrated her tremendous commitment and determination. Her selection to the New Zealand Olympic Team is a fantastic achievement, giving her a special place in fencing history as New Zealand's first ever female Olympian fencer. To see Jessica marching in the opening ceremony at Athens will be a proud and moving moment for us all." "She is a great role model and inspiration for our fencers, especially for those who cherish Olympic dreams." Jessica is naturally very excited about her Olympic opportunity, "it’s overwhelming coming to terms with the reality of actually going to the Olympic Games.” “I feel lucky to have had such close support from my mother, my family and close friends, it was such a pleasure to share my qualification with them."
The New Zealand Olympic Fencing team is: Jessica Beer (Auckland) Individual Epee
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