Harrogate fencer Caitlin Chang admits beating her old rivals at the BUCS Gatorade Nationals was perfect preparation ahead of her Jamaica debut last Friday.
The 20-year-old was one of Sheffield Hallam University’s stars at the multi-sport event in Sheffield and did not fail to impress, downing Great Britain fencers Amy Radford and Hannah Lawrence en route to women’s epee gold.
And the competition continues to come thick and fast for Chang, who made her bow with Jamaica at the World Cup in Saint Maur on Friday – having officially made the switch from Great Britain in November.
She won two, and lost four in her first outing for Jamaica and was philosophical about her results, saying on Twitter: “Not my best but glad to be back competing on this stage and to get two senior world cup victories for Jamaica in a quality field.”
For now she is setting herself modest goals but with the Commonwealth Fencing Championships in Glasgow looming in November, she believes a new dawn can bring more medals.
“It was a big field but I knew Hannah and Amy were going to be the main competition,” said Chang, who qualifies for Jamaica through her father.
“We have all come through together, especially Amy and I, and we always seem to be 50/50 – it’s been a pattern over the years.
“I was really happy to beat Hannah in the semis because she’s been the fencer on form over the last few months.
“The switch to Jamaica was a recent one and it came through in November time, there were a lot of reasons behind the switch but Jamaica is a new federation and I want to help it grow, and secondly I think the British federation are not supporting epee as much as they could.”
There was also success in the badminton as former St Aidan’s pupil Jamie Bonsels powered to victory at the fifth time of asking at the event.
The Leeds Metropolitan University student was in control throughout the men’s singles final against Glasgow’s Matthew Carder – and admits it was a relief to finally get over the line.
Gatorade is the exclusive nutrition and hydration partner to British Universities & Colleges Sports and headline sponsor of the BUCS Gatorade Nationals. BUCS and Gatorade work together to educate student athletes on the importance of sports nutrition and hydration – visit: www.bucs.org.uk/gatorade