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OLYMPIC GAMES DAY FIVE: Williams' early exit in fencing
WINSLEY'S Sophie Williams made an early exit in the women's sabre at the Olympic Games in London this afternoon.
The Truro-based 21-year-old was defeated 15-6 by Italy's Irene Vecchi in her opening last 32 match at the ExCel Centre.
The encounter was always likely to be a tough ask for the Wiltshire woman, with Vecchi ranked sixth in the world and having helped her country to European team gold in 2011.
The British selectors had handed Williams a place in London 2012 with a view to her development for the Rio Games in four years time.
Williams had found herself in the spotlight after an allegation, rejected vigorously by British Fencing, claimed that her father Jon's financial support for the sport had played a part in the decision.
Not surprisingly in those circumstances, the cheer for her debut in the Games almost raised the roof in the packed arena.
"It was incredible - everybody gave me so much support and it was an amazing atmosphere, overwhelming," she said.
"I'm disappointed I couldn't put in a better performance. I think I was daunted a bit by the whole experience - it was amazing and I feel I've learnt so much.
"I knew it was going to be difficult. She's ranked sixth in the world for a reason.
"I've fenced well against her in the past, but unfortunately I couldn't put in the same performance. She was very strong in the beginning, got away from me and it was very difficult to close that gap.
"I'm so glad I've had this opportunity. Hopefully I'll come back in four years and put in a better performance - and hopefully we'll have a team event to go for then as well.
"It's definitely inspired me. I'll pick myself up and just focus on training for Rio - that's my goal now."
On the controversial build-up she added: "It was what it was. I think it happened in every single sport. I didn't let it get to me too much - I knew why I was chosen."
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