Hendrie paves the way at ExCeL at School Games
GEORGE Hendrie showed Great Britain's London 2012 fencers how it's done as he claimed gold at the ExCeL on day three of the Sainsbury's School Games.
GOLDEN BOY: George Hendrie climbed the top step of the podium in the boys foil at the Sainsbury's School Games
With the ExCeL set to host the London 2012 fencing in just over two month's time, 17-year-old Hendrie was getting a sneak peak as he took to the competition for the final four on Tuesday.
And after easing past England teammate James Brosnan in his semi-final Hendrie came away with the gold thanks to a 15-8 victory over Wales' Ethan Ridsdale in the showpiece.
The nation will be hoping to celebrate more medal heroics when the Olympics returns to the ExCeL this summer and Hendrie admits he has to pinch himself after strutting his stuff on the same stage that the world's best are set to grace in a matter of weeks.
"It was a really good result and I'm so happy to have won gold," Hendrie said.
"I came here to win, so I've achieved that which is great. I could have fenced a bit better on the first day, but it's the end result that counts. It's a great way to end the season as well.
"And it's a great feeling to know that some of the best fencers in the world will be here competing on this same stage in a few months at the Olympics.
"It is an unbelievable feeling to think I have won gold before they do at the Olympics and maybe in a few years it might be me winning an Olympic medal too."
England were the ones to beat at the fencing as they walked away with five of the six individual medals up for grabs, with only Scotland's Chloe Dickson stemming the flow as she collected the girls' foil title.
There was plenty for the home crowd to cheer in the gymnastics too as Nile Wilson and Ellie Downie finished top of their piles with the boys and girls all-around titles.
In the table tennis England South East's boys and South West's girls took gold, while England pair Ebony Drysdale-Daley and Matthew Kavanagh claimed girls' -70kg and boys' -81kg golds on the final day of the judo.
England Central are in contention for a volleyball double with both the boys and girls reaching the finals, while England East and England North will do battle for wheelchair basketball supremacy.
The School Games cyclists waved goodbye to Redbridge Cycling Club ahead of Wednesday's visit to the London 2012 Velodrome, para-cyclists Ryan Whatmough and Joe Widdowson picking up where they left off on Monday with two more gold medals, bringing their tally to four out of four.
Charlotte Broughton was also celebrating another crown as she added the girls' time trial medal to Monday's crit victory, while Jack King made it an East Midlands double with victory in the boys' race.
The curtain also came down at Barking Rugby Club as England London and South East overcame South West in the final to take home the rugby sevens cup, while at Redbridge Hockey Club England Under-18s dominated with a 10-0 victory over Wales.
But all was not lost for Wales as it was fifth-time lucky for Jordan Hart in the badminton as she finally walked away with singles gold in the girls' badminton.
The 17-year-old is a School Games stalwart, having competed since 2008, and got the better of England's Jessica Pugh to finally realise her dream.
"I'm over the moon, I have been training really hard for this so it is a really nice way to end a season so I am really happy," she said.
"This is my fifth School Games so I am a bit of a veteran at this now and I've got to finals and semi-finals before but I have never actually won the individual so for my final Games I am over moon.
"This has been the best thing I have competed at, I have been to Youth Commonwealths and big international meets and this is probably the best set-up I have been to so it has been a privilege to play here."
The Sainsbury's 2012 School Games is being held in the Olympic Park and other venues from 6-9 May 2012 with school-aged elite athletes competing across 12 sports. Visit www.2012schoolgames.com for more information.
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