HK fencers beat China to win two gold medals

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 September, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 September, 2008, 12:00am

Hong Kong's mighty women's wheelchair fencing team won two more top medals on another golden day of hard-fought duels against China's fast-rising opponents.

On the penultimate day of the Paralympics and the mainland's seven-year, highly successful Olympic project, Yu Chui-yee crossed swords once more with her nemesis, China's Zhang Chuncui, in the Category A individual foil final.

After falling behind, Yu staged a dramatic comeback to win 15-13.

And Category B individual foil gold medallist Chan Yui-chong won her second gold of the Games in the epee, beating China's Yao Fang 15-12. The same two battled in the foil on Sunday.

Yu's victory was revenge for her narrow loss to Zhang for the individual epee gold medal on Monday.

'I was more relaxed today and, therefore, played better,' said the 24-year-old sports administration student, who won four golds in Athens.

'Now I have both a silver and a gold medal in my 2008 collection.'

Chan acknowledged the Chinese team's improvement in her drive to win gold.

'Winning this year's medals was much tougher than winning at Athens, where the Chinese fencers did not pose such a challenge,' Chan said.

Hong Kong's only representative in women's athletics, Yu Chun-li, 31, was fifth in the 100 metres T36 final at the National Stadium.

Late last night, South African sprint sensation Oscar 'Blade Runner' Pistorius won his third gold of the Games in the 400 metres in a record 47.49. He had already won the 100 and 200 metres in his class.

Canadian wheelchair racer Chantal Petitclerc won her fifth gold medal of the Games last night by winning the T54 1,500 metres.

Swimmers Natalie du Toit of South Africa and Matthew Cowdrey of Australia made a splash at the Paralympics by winning five golds in the National Aquatics Centre.

With the final event, the wheelchair marathon, being staged today ahead of tonight's closing ceremony at the Bird's Nest, China remained firmly on top of the medals table.

With the last night of competition ensuring another packed house in the stadium, China passed the 200 medal mark with a runaway 87 golds and 207 medals overall.

That was double that of second-place Britain, which has 42 golds and medals 102 overall.

The United States was in third place late yesterday with 36 golds and 98 in total.

The Paralympic Games are being widely praised as the best on record by many veterans and pundits.

As was the case during the Olympics last month, superb organisation and huge, enthusiastic crowds have been the hallmarks.