Diocesan Boys’ School (DBS) and Diocesan Girls’ School (DGS) were crowned the overall champions at this year’s Inter-school Fencing Competition, but neither could sweep all three events of foil, epee and sabre.
More than 60 schools in Kowloon and on Hong Kong Island sent fencers to compete in the team tournament held at Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park Sports Centre last Sunday.
In the boys’ overall category, DBS fencers successfully defended their championship title from last year by winning the epee and sabre events, and taking second place at foil. DBS epee team captain Ng Ting-hin said the key to winning was a carefully planned strategy and great team spirit.
“My teammates had fenced conservatively in the early bouts to make sure we would not lose many points. Then all that was left was for me to get as many points as I could in the final round, and I did.”
The 15-year-old added that the team had become more united after the training camp in South Korea this summer.
However, the school’s bid to achieve a ‘grand slam’ by winning all three events was shattered by the La Salle College foil team by Youth Olympics fencer Paco Chan Pak-hei.
The 16-year-old said the victory with a 11-point lead over DBS was unexpected, and he believed his experience at the Games in Argentina in early October gave him the upper hand in the final match.
“Taking part in the Youth Olympics had broadened my horizons. I feel less nervous when competing in local competitions now, and that’s how I maintained a good mentality in the final match.”
Meanwhile in the overall girls’ category, DGS fencers were equally successful in maintaining their dominance in the competition as they came in first place at foil and sabre, and third place in epee. They defeated long-time rivals Heep Yunn School in the gold medal matches at the foil and sabre events, which were both very close matches.
DGS sabre team captain Kwok Yan-kei, who landed the last touch for the team to end the sabre event finals with a score of 45:42, told Young Post that the team had been under tremendous pressure before the competition.
“We had been very stressed because we wanted to make up for last year’s gold medal loss. Even when the score was close, I had to calm myself down because I knew I would lose more points if I was nervous.”
The 15-year-old wanted to thank her schoolmates for their the support, who shouted school cheers at the top of their lungs to boost the team’s spirit.
“I cannot thank them enough for supporting us the whole way. Their cheers empowered me to carry on and not to have a cold feet. Without them, I might have easily given up.”
In a thrilling final match, Fan Linna, the DGS foil team captain, anchored the team to take first place in the girls’ foil event. This made the 17-year-old a double champion in the Grade A girls’ foil individual event and girls’ foil team event.
“I’m so excited to win both the individual and team titles. But after everything the team had been through together, the team win definitely matters more.”
As this was Fan’s last inter-school tournament, she had a few words to say to her fellow teammates.
“I hope the DGS fencing team will continue to fight as one no matter how hard it may get. There is nothing we can’t do, we just have to try.”