Summer Olympic Games

Fencers show golden touch

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 August, 2007, 12:00am

A group of young fencers from Hong Kong showed their mettle, winning seven medals - two gold, three silver and two bronze - at a competition on the mainland.

The athletes, aged 10 to 13, participated in the National Children's Fencing Competition in Fuzhou , Fujian province, from August 8-16.

It attracted nearly 400 fencers from all over China and they impressed the crowd with their speed, power and precision.

This was the second time Hong Kong had sent a team to the event, where China's up-and-coming players show off their talents.

In the individual boys' foil which featured 80 players, Howie Chan and Yeung Tsz-ka won gold and silver, respectively.

In the boys' sabre, Jackson Wang clinched silver, followed by Lee Sze-ho who took bronze.

Hong Kong also did well in team events. They won gold in the boys' sabre, silver in the boys' foil and bronze in the girls' epee.

Wong Tsan, honorary adviser of the Hong Kong Fencing Association, said the good result took him by surprise. 'Entering the semi-finals was a good achievement because the standard of mainland fencers is very high,' he said.

'The young local fencers did very well. Most of them took up fencing about three to four years ago and have taken part in many international competitions, including those in Malaysia, Singapore and Zhuhai . Their rich experience and brilliant tactics helped them a lot.'

Wong is also the principal of the Hong Kong Fencing School. 'Fencing is becoming more popular these days,' he said. 'The parents are very supportive and let their children take part in the sport at a very young age. They also sponsor their children for international competitions in order to widen their horizons.'

In Europe, Wong said, children usually took up fencing when they were around five years old. 'Our target is to train more young talent so that they can join the Hong Kong team and win more honours for the city,' he said.