Hong Kong teenage fencer Sophia Wu clinched silver in cadet women’s foil on day one of the Asian Junior and Cadet Fencing Championships in Amman, Jordan, yesterday.
The 16-year-old, who also took silver in the event last year, was neck and neck in the gold medal match against Japanese fencer Morita Mai. Sophia had a slow start and was down by 3-10 by the end of the first bout. But she pulled off an amazing comeback in the second bout and the scores were at 12-12 as the second period ended. Mai, however, took two points away in the first half-minute of the final round. Though the Heep Yunn School student scored another point, the Japanese fencer still got the better of her, and ended to the match in 13-15.
“It’s a pity that the final match was so close, but I have done my best and I have no regrets,” Sophia said in a post-match interview with the Hong Kong Fencing Association.
She also recalled the thrill of winning the semi-finals match, where she took on Mo Byeoli of South Korea. The victory was momentous as she was in deficit the whole match, until she made a rebound and forced the match into the priority minute. The Form Five student kept up her momentum and seized the last point, finishing the duel in 13-12.
Sophia was the No. 1 seed after sweeping her pool matches. She crushed Roaa Majali from the host country in 15-8 to reach top 16, and defeated fellow Hong Kong competitor Christelle Joy Ko with a marginal victory of 12-11 to secure her spot in the quarter-finals. The Hong Kong foilist then took out Ayano Iimura of Japan 15-8 to enter top four.
“The goals I’ve set for this year was to reach top four, so I’m very glad I can fulfil my own expectations,” said Sophia, who is also one of the finalists of the Student of the Year Awards 2018 Sportsperson category.
Sophia will join three other Hong Kong cadet women’s foilists to contend for the team title on Friday. She hopes, given their decent performance in the individual event - with two in the top eight and one in the top 16 - that the team can make history for the city.
“The four of us fenced quite well today,” she said, “so I think we can indeed get into top four in the team event, and hopefully make some breakthrough on previous results.”