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Alesha Dixon 'stunned' to qualify for sword fighting in Olympics

April 1, 2012 - London

Alesha Dixon said she was "stunned" to find that she had qualified for the British Olympic fencing team following just weeks of training after she won a bout at a charity contest.

Dixon only picked up a foil - the name for one of the sport's weapons - for the first time in February for a Sport Relief event in Bognor Regis.

She must now balance her other commitments with intensive training to try to win an Olympic gold for her country.

The fencing event kicks off on Day 2 of the London Games on July 28.

The 'Britain's got Talent' judge won the Bognor tournament by beating Claire Richards from Steps in the final.

After her victory, she was given more training and told a few days ago she had made it to the Olympics.

"It's all a bit of a blur. One minute I was fighting Claire from Steps and Howard off the Halifax ads in a charity contest, not knowing which way round to hold the foil, and the next I'm an Olympic athlete," the Daily Star quoted Dixon as saying.

"I can't take it in, it's unbelievable. Simon Cowell thinks it's hilarious. I've warned him I'll want a pay increase next year if I'm an Olympic gold medallist.

"I studied sports science and wanted to be a PE teacher before my music career took off but I never dreamed I could be a sports star," she said.

British Women's Fencing coach Olga Prafglosi said that Dixon was a natural at the game.

"She's the most naturally gifted fencer I have seen for years.

"We thought she must have competed professionally but she was just a raw talent. It's our pleasure to welcome her into the team," she said.


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