A SILVER medal at the BUCS Nationals is all the motivation Reading fencer Brynmor Saunders needs to get back into the England team.

The University College London student celebrated his 24th birthday by going all the way in the men’s sabre, eventually losing to world No. 55 William Deary in the final.

Saunders had taken a year out of fencing to focus on his studies, but after picking up a podium place in Sheffield, the 24-year-old has the fire in his belly to make a return to the national set-up.

He said: “I took last year out and my goal is to get back into the national side for the start of next season and results like this can only help that. It’s going on track right now, but we’ve nationals to come so lets see how that goes.

“I’m very happy with the result, the competitions I’ve done since starting again in December have been small local ones.

“But to have a competition like this with more than 100 people, including many in international set-ups, this is the biggest competition I’ve done so I’m very happy.”

This year saw BUCS Nationals return for the sixth year, bringing together individual BUCS Championship events which take place across Sheffield.

More than 500 officials and volunteers were involved last week, with this the largest annual multi-sport event in the UK.

Saunders produced a thrilling comeback in the quarter-finals, winning 15-14 against Mihai Cucu-Dumitrescu, before eventually losing to Deary 15-7 in the final.

The fencer knew it would be a tough ask against Deary, but was still delighted with his showing in Sheffield.

He said: “I’m extremely happy with my result and I fenced the best I have done in a long time.

“Will is on fire on the internationals right now so it was realistic to beat him so I’m very happy with second place and beat everyone else. I feel I put in a good tournament to get to the final.”

BUCS Nationals powered by Muhdo is the largest annual multi-sport event in the UK, bringing the best of Britain’s university athletes together to compete across eight different sports in Sheffield. More info at bucs.org.uk and via #BUCSNationals