Hey Leon Paul lovers!

The new season has just started so it’s time for a new blog.

Last season I took a little break from training because of the very hectic period around the 2016 Rio Olympics.

I learned after Beijing 2008 and London 2012 that it is very important to give your body and mind a long period of regeneration before starting another Olympic cycle.

Last season I trained far less then I was used to, did a few competitions and skipped a few as well.

Physically I was not in shape last season, but I managed to get two good results at the World Championships in Leipzig, Germany and at the European Championships in Tbilisi, Georgia. Both competitions I made it to the top-16 and in Tbilisi, I missed the top-8 by 1 touch…

Because my focus was less on the physical/mental part of fencing last year I focused more on my work as a mental trainer and I made a plan to find sponsors to support me on my way to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Together with my team and manager I made a plan and found (partial) support for my road to Tokyo 2020, to attend my 4th Olympics and represent my country and Europe. Me and my team had some difficulties on our road to London 2012 and Rio 2016, like every athlete/human experienced in life, but because of goalsetting, planning, mental strength and a dream, we made it! So this makes me very very confident and motivated to give it all for Tokyo 2020!

Of course, it will be hard to qualify for the Olympics, especially in men’s epee for Europe, but so it was for 2008, 2012 and 2016 ?

This season I want to get in shape again physically, so I am training hard to do so. Went to train in Italy to work with the famous Elio Malena and find some good sparring partners there.

The first Worldcup in Bern was a bit disappointing. I missed the top-64 on 1 touch in the extra minute. We, fencers, know how that feels, right…….

The next weekend I fenced at the Allstar-cup in Reutlingen, a big German open. My goal was to make the top-8, because of my physical condition. But I won and that felt great.

[caption id="attachment_942" align="alignnone" width="300"] 15. Reutlinger allstar-Cup 2017, 05.11.17 - vlnr.: Bas Verwijlen (SC den Bosch, Niederlande, 1. Platz), Daniel Marcol (KS Szpada Wroclaw, Polen, 2. Platz, Richard Schmidt (FC Offenbach, 3. Platz, Niklas Multerer (Heidenheimer SB, 3. Platz)[/caption] [caption id="attachment_941" align="alignnone" width="300"] 15. Reutlinger allstar-Cup 2017, 05.11.17 - Frank Messemer (allstar-Fechtcenter, links) gratuliert Sieger Bas Verwijlen (Niederlande, rechts)[/caption]

I beat some good fencers and was overall happy with my fencing. Of course, I was very motivated for a good result after Bern…

[caption id="attachment_943" align="alignnone" width="300"] 15. Reutlinger allstar-Cup 2017, 05.11.17 - Halbfinale - Bas Verwijlen (SC den Bosch, Niederlande, rechts) gegen Niklas Multerer (Heidenheimer SB, links)[/caption] [caption id="attachment_944" align="alignnone" width="300"] 15. Reutlinger allstar-Cup 2017, 05.11.17 - Jubel nach dem entscheidenden Treffer: Bas Verwijlen (SC den Bosch, Niederlande) gewinnt den 15. Reutlinger allstar-Cup[/caption]

The weekend after that I won an international competition near Ghent, Belgium. For me, it is always important to see how my body feels the day after. It felt good! So the trainings are starting to pay off.

Last weekend I fenced at the world cup in Legnano, Italy. I had a tough first round, but I managed to win all and qualify for the top-64.

Unfortunately, I lost to get in the top-32. But hey, 1 round further than in Bern, let’s hold on to that.

Very nice to see that the level is getting higher again in men’s epee and to see a lot of new guys trying to make their way into the top of the world!

So it was a busy month with 4 competitions and two gold medals. Now I have a few days of active rest and then my preparation will start for the Grand Prix in Doha, Qatar. I will enjoy these days to spend time with my wife and our newborn girl, Nina.

Thanks a lot to Leon Paul for their support for almost 10 years!

See you! Bas Verwijlen

Photo Copyright: Axel Grundler