Briese-Baetke aiming to cap remarkable year with Hong Kong win


German aiming for further success at IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Hong Kong

In the 12 wheelchair fencing events she has competed in during 2015, Germany’s Simone Briese-Baetke has won 10 medals, six of them gold. In the category B epee discipline she has lost only once.

The London 2012 silver medallist now heads to the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Hong Kong World Cup (17-21 December) for the first time in a bid to add even more titles to her collection before the year is out.

When asked about her achievements, Briese-Baetke is characteristically humble. "It was without doubt one of my best seasons," she modestly admitted, adding, "There is always room for improvement."

"I would say the European Championships was a particular highlight. I was able to regain the epee title that I last won in 2009."

Her victories this year have now firmly established Briese-Baetke as the World No.1 in both the category B foil and epee disciplines, and she says it is her mental approach that enables her to succeed so emphatically.

"Ambition, strong will, fun and the resolve to have a socially active life are what drive me to succeed. My sport makes this all possible."

The World Cup in Hong Kong will feature a strong field of international competitors, but Briese-Baetke is not fazed by the prospect. Any suggestion of complacency possibly creeping in at the end of a successful year is quickly dismissed.

"I do not see any difference between competing in Asia and competing in Europe," Briese-Baetke explained. "For me it does not make any difference where the competitions take place.

"I will approach the World Cup the same way that I approach every tournament. I will work from strike-to-strike. It is not a given that I will conclude the year with a win at the final tournament, just because I can look back on a good season.

"My goals for the tournament are to stay concentrated and attentive so that I can call upon my strengths and skills at the right moment."

Though firmly focused on this last competition, the German star admits she is already looking forward to the end of the season.

I will be back in Germany the festive season and I will celebrate with my husband, my son, my daughter-in-law and my grandchild. I’m already really looking forward to it.

For Briese-Baetke, a win in Hong Kong would be perfect Christmas present to mark the end of an incredible year.