FENCER Maiyuran Ratneswaran insists nothing will stand in his way as he bids for a fifth successive men’s sabre title at the BUCS Gatorade Nationals on Sunday.
The 22-year-old is currently ranked second in the country and already has a team gold and individual silver medal from the 2010 Commonwealth Fencing Championships on his CV.
Ratneswaran has successfully achieved the step up to the senior international circuit this season, finishing third at the British National Championships in the individual event and first in the team event with his Imperial College teammates.
He has his sights set on representing Great Britain at this summer’s European Championships but insists his main focus for now is on adding another BUCS title to his collection.
"I think my record speaks for itself and I'm going to go there confident and aim for the win,” he said.
“If someone turns up on form on the day and runs me close, then I will step my game up. I feel fit, I have been training really hard and it should all go to plan.
"BUCS is completely different to other events. University level is such a range - there are people who have just started and then you've got current internationals.
“Your first knockout round could be an Under-20 international or a beginner. It's important to go in with the same intensity and take every match as it comes. It is almost pot luck.”
Ratneswaran, from Tooting, has recently started training with former Romanian national champion Alex Bela and hopes the change in leadership can see him turn his silver into gold when the 2014 Commonwealths come around.
"Alex’s approach is completely different. Because I've stepped up to the senior level and he knows the scene and the people, we're working more on tactics,” he added.
"My game is more about my natural ability and I don't really use my tactics. I tend to follow my instincts.
“I’m looking to go one step further this time. I lost by one point in the final of the last Commonwealth Games so every small improvement I can achieve in training will hopefully make the difference.
“I didn’t make the selection for London 2012 and, unfortunately, we didn’t get a team place. I’ll be 26 when the Rio 2016 Olympics come around and, if I keep improving, then I hope to be there.”
Gatorade is the exclusive nutrition and hydration partner to British Universities & Colleges Sports and headline sponsor of the BUCS Gatorade Nationals. BUCS and Gatorade work together to educate student athletes on the importance of sports nutrition and hydration – visit: www.bucs.org.uk/gatorade