Noble sets sights on more titles

After taking the European title last year, France's wheelchair fencing star Romain Noble is aiming for World Championship glory in 2015. 18 Feb 2015 By Mike Stuart | for the IPC

"Winning titles is always a time of great joy. But now I am working hard to try to be even more efficient on the piste."

France’s World No.1 in both the category A Sabre and Epee events Romain Noble featured on the podium an incredible eight times last season but has insisted there is more to come from him in 2015.

Noble, 34, won three titles in 2014, including a European gold with the sabre, and said complacency will not be a problem as the new season gets underway.

"I am pretty satisfied with my 2014 season," Noble explained. "Winning titles is always a time of great joy. But now I am working hard to try to be even more efficient on the piste."

While some athletes might fight it difficult to motivate themselves during the current three month off-season, there has been no let up for Noble. He admits, however, that the long wait between competitions is not without its challenges.

"This is a difficult time because without competition is not easy to assess my performance level,” said Noble.

"But during the off season I train regularly at my club and I participate in sessions within the France group. I am also lucky to have a job and a private life that allows me to develop fully."

Another secret to Noble's unwavering approach to training is the setting of clear objectives. Asked about priorities for the new season, Noble's eyes are firmly on one particular prize.

"The target for 2015 is the World Championships in Eger in September and to try to win the title of world champion.

"I am aware that this will be very difficult because there are a lot of great athletes who can stake a claim.

"(Great Britain's) Piers Gilliver had a very good season in 2014 and has made himself a contender for a World Championship title with the epee. And in the sabre event the Chinese athletes are formidable opponents."

Despite the high standard of his opponents, Noble is quietly confident of success in the season ahead, but will not yet be drawn on his hopes for Rio 2016,

"I try to take the competitions as they come without thinking about selection for the Games, and to just give my best.

"International-level wheelchair fencing has evolved and competition is becoming harder. This season looks exciting. In both the epee and the sabre events many athletes can shine."

Though he is too modest to admit it, Romain Noble will surely be one of them.

The IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Championships will take place in Eger, Hungary, between 17-24 September.