Hong Kong foil fencer Edgar Cheung Ka-long made history at the Federation Internationale d’Escrime (FIE) 2019 Grand Prix in Turin, Italy, on Sunday. It was the second notable victory for a member of the city’s fencing team last week.
Cheung, 21, won a historic silver medal in the men’s foil event, and has risen to eighth in the latest individual senior men’s foil world rankings. He lost to American star Race Imboden, the world’s top-ranked foil fencer, in the gold-medal match, 6-14.
Led by the team’s new coach Greg Koenig, Cheung made it all the way to the finals for the first time, after defeating Gerek Meinhardt and Alexander Massialas of the US. Massialas won silver in the individual men’s foil at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Cheung said winning silver in Turin meant a lot to him. “It shows I am a competent fencer, and is a massive confidence boost, especially since I hadn’t won any medals in international fencing competitions since 2017.”
Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Vivian Kong Man-wai, 25, earned her second gold medal in the space of a few weeks in the women’s epee at the FIE Fencing World Cup in Barcelona, Spain, last Friday. She had also won gold at the FIE Fencing World Cup which was held in Havana, Cuba, last month. Kong, who is second in the individual senior women’s epee world rankings, scored a 15-7 victory over South Korea’s Hyein Lee, who is currently ranked 19th in the world.
In a WhatsApp audio response she sent out to local media yesterday, Kong said she was extremely happy to see her improvement in fencing, and felt honoured to win victory for Hong Kong.
“All the opponents I’ve played against in the competition are athletes whom I truly admire and respect, especially [Rossella] Fiamingo to whom I lost in the Rio Olympics,” she said.
In the round of 16, the world No. 2 trounced the Italian fencer 15-6 to earn her spot in the quarter-finals. In the last eight, she edged out South Korea’s Sera Song 15-13 on her way to a memorable victory in the final.