Fencers target Games

Fencers target Games

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(From left) Fencers Edgar Cheung, Joey Lau, Debbie Ho, and Ryan Choi
(From left) Fencers Edgar Cheung, Joey Lau, Debbie Ho, and Ryan Choi
Photo: Kevin Kung/SCMP
Hong Kong will have three foil fencers and one epee fencer competing at next month's Asian Youth Games in Nanjing.

Six fencing events will be held at the Games - foil, sabre and epee for both boys and girls - at Nanjing International Expo Centre from August 19 to 21.

Foil fencers Edgar Cheung Ka-long, Ryan Choi Chun-yin, and Joey Lau Cheuk-yu, and epee fencer Debbie Ho Tik-lam, are hoping to come home with medals for Hong Kong.

Ryan, 15, a Form Four student at La Salle College, in Kowloon, was the cadet champion in the men's foil individual event at last year's Asian Junior & Cadet Championships.

However, in this year's tournament, in Bangkok, Thailand, he was knocked out by the eventual champion in the round of 32.

Ryan says he was very disappointed by the defeat, but he is now focused on doing well at the Games. "I didn't realise the Games would be so big at first," he says. "I feel I'm back in form and determined to do well in the competition."

His teammate Edgar, 16, a Form Four student at Lam Tai Fai College, in Sha Tin, represented Hong Kong at last year's World Junior & Cadet Championships, but lost to the eventual champion in the last 64.

"I'm expecting a podium finish at the Games," he says. "Some fencers from other Asian countries are taller and stronger, in terms of power, but our never-give-up spirit should help us remain competitive," says Edgar.

Joey, 16, a Form Four student at Heep Yunn School, in Ma Tau Wai, was second in the cadet girls' foil team event, and also reached the quarter-finals in the junior women's individual event at this year's Asian Junior & Cadet Championships.

"I take the Games as an opportunity to gain more major competition experience," says Joey, who has trained at the Hong Kong Sports Institute since September 2011, and is ranked second among Hong Kong's under-17 foil fencers.

"At this year's championships I lost in the last 32 of the cadet girls' foil competition, mainly because I put myself under lots of pressure.

"I've learned from that, and I think I will be able to handle the mental side of competition much better at the Games and believe I can reach at least the quarter-finals."

Debbie, 16, was a double bronze medallist in the cadet girls' foil individual and team events at this year's Asian Cadet & Junior Championships. She is confident of reaching the last four at the Games.

"Fencers at the Games will be mostly the same as my rivals at the Asian championships in March," says Debbie, a Form Four student at St Paul's Convent School (Secondary Section), in Causeway Bay.

"It will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience at the Games for me. The Asian Cadet & Junior Championships has individual and team events in both cadet and junior categories, so we've more than one chance to do well, and can win a medal even after being defeated in one event.

"However, at the Games, we have only one individual event, so the pressure is greater - we really have only one chance and have to be at our best throughout."

At the Games, the fencing event is divided into two parts. First, there's a round-robin stage where competitors are ranked according to their performance. The top-ranked fencers will avoid each other until the later stages of the knock-out phase.


Also, see Kevin's previews of Hong Kong's other representatives to the 2013 Asian Youth Games:

- Athletics
- Badminton
- Football
- Girls' rugby
- Golf
- Handball
- Judo
- Rugby
- Squash
- Swimming
- Table tennis
- Tennis

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