STEPH Collister climbed off her sick bed to win a medal at the British Junior Championships for the second season running.
The 17-year-old Christleton High sixth-form student was unable to replicate the foil gold she won in Sheffield 12 months previously.
But considering she had been off ill from school in the lead up to the this year’s event – held at Medway Park in Gillingham – her third-placed finish and the bronze medal that accompanied it remained an excellent achievement.
Collister stormed to victory in all five of her poule fights.
That ensured she was given a bye into the last 16 of the direct elimination rounds as the number one seed.
Collister’s first knock-out fight went smoothly, ending in a comfortable 15-2 success. Her second was an altogether more tense affair, finishing 15-10 in the defending champion’s favour.
The victory put Collister through to the semi-finals and set up a showdown with Scotland’s top seed, an older fencer taking part in her final junior competition before making the permanent step up to senior fencing.
Collister, who has two more years as a junior, raced into a commanding lead. She was pegged back, however, and the fight went to the final hit.
The hit was controversially awarded to the Scot, leaving Collister to collect the bronze medal.
Collister’s performance in Gillingham means she remains second in the British junior foil rankings.
The Wales international – who is on target to compete at next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow – is now focusing all her thoughts on climbing up the British senior foil standings.
She is currently rankled 13th and has made it her aim to break into the top 10.