Yuval Shalom Freilich is an Israeli épée fencer. In 2012 at 17 years of age he was the #1-ranked épée cadet in the world, and in 2015 he was the #1 ranked junior épée fencer in the world. He won the gold medal in men's épée at the 2019 European Fencing Championships.
PBT: What were your first feelings about postponement of the Tokyo Olympics Games? How does this affect on your preparation?
The postponement of the Olympics was of course very disappointing, not only because of our individual preparation as athletes, but also because of how important the games are to everyone who loves sports. The postponement gives me some extra time to prepare, sharpen my skills and improve my fencing and mental strength for when I get back on the piste.
PBT: What are your plans for the coming months? What did you discuss with your coach about the situation and the new season?
For the coming months I am putting more effort into physical preparation and mental training. Because I cannot fence, and we don’t know yet when we can, I must make the most and take advantage of the time I have. I’ve turned my garden into my own private gym, and train twice a day, including exercises I wouldn’t usually do during the regular season, like Yoga and meditation.
The most important issue during this time is to stay motivated and keep the inner engine moving, even when there is not as much external motivation like competition and fencing.
The biggest challenge has been to keep training, keep pushing through and keep the energy, because that is what will make the difference when we return.