Teen fencer too sharp

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 03 January, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 03 January, 1998, 12:00am

The morale of Fung Ying-ki received a huge boost after he was named Junior Star of the Month by Adidas and the Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI).

The 17-year-old Kiangsu-Chekiang College student won the award following a great performance at Hungary's Wheelchair Fencing Championships in November.

'I was surprised to hear I had won the award,' said the fourth-former. 'I did not expect to win because the other nominees also had good results in their sports.' Ying-ki finished third in a field of 32 in the men's individual foil and was second of 15 contestants in the individual sabre event. The three-day clash in Hungary is considered one of the toughest contests in Europe.

An HKSI scholarship athlete and a member of the national team since 1996, Ying-ki began formal training just two years ago. The silver and bronze medals he won in Hungary represented his first triumph at international level.

Ying-ki is the second Hong Kong wheelchair fencer to grab some of the international limelight. Ben Cheung Wai-leung won four gold medals at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics.

Despite the pressures of school, Ying-ki insists on training six days a week.

'It is difficult to strike a balance between school work and training,' he admitted.

Other nominees for the November award included To Wai-lok (track and field), Arif Ali (hockey) and Tam Chi-kin (swimming).