Hong Kong fencing prodigy Kaylin Hsieh Sin-yan was named Most Outstanding Junior Athlete and Most Promising Junior Athlete of 2018 at the Sports for Hope Foundation Outstanding Junior Athlete Awards (OJAA) 2018 Fourth Quarter Presentation Ceremony yesterday.
The 17-year-old was awarded her fourth OJAA title in the final quarter of the year, and was presented with the two major awards for her remarkable achievements over the past year. The teenage epee fencer was crowned champion in cadet women’s epee at the World Junior and Cadet Fencing Championships last April, and clinched two silvers at the Youth Olympic Games several months later in October.
Speaking to Young Post at the award ceremony in the Hong Kong Sports Institute, Kaylin said she was surprised to win two main awards, but she is grateful to have them as motivation to strive for more.
“I’m also human, I get demotivated sometimes. This is something to remind me to keep going,” said the Sha Tin College student.
After such a fruitful year in 2018, the reigning cadet world champion said her primary goal for 2019 is to ace her International Baccalaureate examinations. In a RTHK television programme aired last month, Kaylin gets candid about the immense stress she deals with being a student athlete with a hectic schedule. She told Young Post it's a constant struggle to get the best of both worlds, but she's become better at time management.
“It is definitely a continuous struggle. I obviously try to control it, but it can get out of hand easily” she said. “Now I’m learning to determine which activities deserve more of my time, and which do not.”
At the Asian Junior and Cadet Fencing Championships, which wrapped up last week in Amman, Jordan, as Hong Kong’s medal hope in the junior women’s epee event, Kaylin was knocked out unexpectedly in the round of 16 and had failed to lead the women’s epee team to top four.
She admitted her initial goal was to win a medal, but the Youth Olympic Games silver medalist soon realised her focus should be on the process rather than the outcome. And that gathering more experience is what it takes to stand out in senior level competitions.
“I think at present, there is still a gap between my fencing and the mature level of fencing,” she said. “If I don’t put more effort into the process, whatever outcome I get, I won’t be happy.”