J'can crowned British Under-18 fencing champion
Machetes and knives are the first weapons to come to the minds of most Jamaicans when they think of close-range combat weapons, but Tia Simms-Lymn prefers the sword.
The 17-year-old, from Sheffield, England, who has a Jamaican mother and British father, became the Under-18 British national champion in fencing two Saturday ago.
She defeated her South West Club teammate Sarah Spice in a thrilling 15-8 encounter. She described the victory as "quite pleasing" as she said that she had not been having the best of seasons leading up to the competition as she balanced fencing with her studies.
"I've been focusing on my studies this year so I haven't really had a season, so I'm quite glad to start this year on good terms," Simms-Lymn told STAR Sports.
"Starting off, it was a bit tough. It was all to do with my mentality and the psychology of it more than the physical fencing. When I got more into it mentally, I found it quite easy. It was a lot smoother and I had a lot more confidence, especially getting into the final. I found that my easiest fight of the day was actually the final," she joked.
FOCUSING ON TOKYO
Having missed out on qualifying for Rio 2016, Simms-Lymn is already focusing on the next Olympiad, in Tokyo, in three years.
"I think it would be really good. I think it would encourage other young kids in Jamaica and the people of Jamaica to take up fencing. It's a small sport, but it would be a great feeling to bring it to the country and get people to be a part of it," she said.
In 2014, Simms-Lymn won silver at the Under-15 title at the Wratislava Challenge in Europe. In 2015, she competed at the PanAmerican Championships in Guatemala City.