athlete of the week

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 October, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 October, 2008, 12:00am

Each week we talk to HK's brightest and best

Name Cheung Sik-lui

Sport fencing

Achievements Cheung, 19, turned professional in June this year.

She won the women's epee team bronze at the Asian Fencing Championships in April this year. Her excellent performance earned her the Hong Kong Sports Institute Outstanding Junior Athlete Award last month.

Soundbite 'I never thought I would become a professional fencer. I took up fencing when I was in Form One because it was a popular sport in my secondary school,' said Cheung.

'The coach picked me for the sabre category in the beginning but I didn't like it. So I changed to epee later on.

'It was really hard in the beginning, especially the postures. However, it was very interesting and exciting once I managed to learn the basic fencing skills.

'I enjoy taking part in competitions. I feel satisfied every time I beat an opponent.

'My coach asked me to scream every time I score a point.

'Fencers normally do this to release the pressure as well as enhance their morale during competitions.

'I felt a bit embarrassed at the beginning but screaming out loud really helps. I'm now trying to get used to it.

'I've suspended my studies. I would like to be a professional fencer for two years. If I do very well in the sport, I would continue. If not, I will go back to school with no regrets.'

From her coach 'Cheung is tall compared to other Asian girls,' said coach Wang Zhongqiang.

'She is in good physical condition and has great potential. Most importantly, she is really into fencing and devotes a lot of time and effort into the sport.'

Ambitions 'I'm going to take part in the Asian Junior Fencing Championships in Korea this month,' Cheung said.

'I hope to win gold in both individual and team events.

'My target is to be the top epee female fencer in Hong Kong.'