Kruse has competed at four Olympics

Olympic foil fencer Richard Kruse has become Britain’s first-ever world number one in the sport after claiming gold at the Tokyo World Cup in Japan.

The 35-year-old, who in 2018 became Britain’s first world medallist in 58 years with silver in China, entered the event trailing world champion Alessio Foconi by 24 points.

However, the Italian’s semi-final defeat, coupled with Kruse’s 3-2 victory over the USA’s Race Imboden in the final, moved the Briton to the top of the global standings.

Last year he told BBC Sport he would be able to “retire happy” if he could claim 10 World Cup wins, and he has now achieved nine.

After failing to claim a medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, British Fencing had all of their UK Sport funding removed for the Tokyo 2020 cycle and a subsequent funding drive initially raised just £170 in the first few weeks after it was launched.

However, they eventually hit their target and in December, British Fencing learnt they would receive £192,500 from UK Sport as a result of Kruse’s successes.

Official rankings were introduced to the sport in 2001.


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