CHENNAI: The burly 19-year-old James Thornton of England clinched his maiden international medal defeating the top-seeded Martin Camilleri of Australia 15-11 in the men's epee individual final of the inaugural Commonwealth junior under-20 fencing championship at the Nehru Indoor Stadium here on Friday.
James, gasping for breath after the win, said, "I knew it was my day. I just believed in myself and I will never forget this day. My father Mike Thornton (a Scottish referee) and Davis Sage (Wales coach) helped me develop my technique and footwork."
Against Martin, James didn't curb his attacking instincts.
He did, however, adopted some defensive tactics to confuse Martin. Charging like a bull, James reeled off the first six points and led 6-4 at the first break.
Midway through the second stage, Martin parried well and targeted James' legs, realising the Englishman's inability to bend and defend. But that was only for a short while. From 11-11, James raced ahead to 15-11 in quick time to seal Martin's fate.
Sumeeth flatters to deceive
Earlier, India's Sainatha Sumeeth lost a good opportunity to make it to the final.
In the semifinal clash with James, Sumeeth enjoyed a 11-5 advantage by staying back and hurrying James. However, James rattled up points to level the match 12-12. At this stage, the Karnataka lad panicked while James maintained the pressure and eventually prevailed.
In a gripping final, Singapore won the women's team foil gold, squeezing past England 33-32.
Other results (semifinals): Men's individual epee: Martin Camilleri (Aus) bt Tom Bennett (Eng) 15-14; James Thornton (Eng) bt Sainatha Sumeeth (Ind) 15-12.