McCann poised for Paralympics

Craig McCann
Craig McCann

DONCASTER fencer Craig McCann continued his rapid rise to potential Paralympic stardom by winning two bronze medals at the recent British Fencing Championships.

McCann, of Bessacarr, competed in the epee and foil events at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

The 27-year-old is still ranked as the second best disabled fencer in his disciplines in Britain and is inside the European top 35 in both disciplines – just two years after taking up the sport

The British Championships were the latest step towards Craig’s ultimate goal of reaching the Paralympic Games in London next year.

Craig, a former McAuley Catholic High School, said: “Podium finishes were the target my coach and I set at the beginning of the year, but obviously I was aiming for higher on the day so it’s always a little hard to take.

“But the results give my coach and I the perfect opportunity to look at my performance and see where we need to improve leading into 2012.”

Craig was diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of 19 after an RAF medical.

Despite almost immediately having the tumour removed, the 18-hour surgery left him with severe nerve damage to his left hand side, affecting his hearing, sight and balance.

After attending a ‘Paralympics Potential’ session a couple of years ago, Craig was spotted by the British Disabled Fencing Association as having a talent for the sport and has been building up his training ever since.

He is currently training at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium and is also under the stewardship of fencing guru Baldip Sahota, his personal coach based at Touché Fencing Club.

The Paralympics GB fencing team will be announced early next summer after a series of international events.