London 2012 Olympics: Fencing woe for Great Britain as Richard Kruse heads casualties

Fencing woe for Great Britain as Kruse heads casualties at the ExCel

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UPDATED:

13:00 GMT, 31 July 2012

British fencing had its biggest disappointment yet with a complete blow-out in the men's foil at the ExCeL on Tuesday morning.

Richard Kruse was seen as a real medal hope after reaching the quarter-finals eight years ago and then taking bronze in the recent European Championships, but he was annihilated 15-5 by lower-ranked Russian Artur Akhmatkhuzin in his opening fight.

Heading out: Great Britain's Richard Kruse (left) took on Artur Akhmatkhuzin

Heading out: Great Britain's Richard Kruse (left) took on Artur Akhmatkhuzin

That followed a 15-8 defeat for Husayn Rosowsky to Tunisian Mohamed Samandi – he needed treatment for a hamstring injury midway through the contest – and fellow 21-year-old James Davis could not repeat his April victory over Germany's four-time world champion Peter Joppich.

Davis, who has risen around 100 places on the world rankings this year, went down 15-10.

After four days of competition no Briton has reached the last 16 of any event. There are five more days to come, but it will be a shock if women's sabre fighters Louise Bond-Williams and Sophie Williams change that on Wednesday and in the men's and women's team foil favourites Italy lie in wait if they can first overcome Egypt.

Exit: Great Britain's Husayn Rosowsky lies injured against Mohamed Samandi

Exit: Great Britain's Husayn Rosowsky lies injured against Mohamed Samandi

Kruse, 29 on Monday, spoke afterwards of probably giving the sport only one more year, although he later said he would not totally rule out a fourth Olympics in Rio in 2016.

'I think we are nearing the end,' said the Londoner. 'Fencing has been very good to me, but I can't fence like I was 21.'