athlete of the week

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 November, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 November, 2010, 12:00am

Name Iris Lam Hin-wai
Sport Fencing (sabre)

Achievements Lam, 19, is a full-time member of the Hong Kong fencing team specialising in the sabre category. She won a bronze medal in the women's sabre individual at the Men's & Women's Sabre World Cup held in Thailand in May. She also won third place in the women's sabre team event at the Asian Fencing Championships [AFC] held in South Korea in July.

She won bronze in the junior women's sabre team event and fifth place in the junior women's sabre individual at the 2010 Asian Junior and Cadet Fencing Championships held in the Philippines.

Lam received the Zespri Outstanding Junior Athlete Award for the second and third quarters of this year.

She is now in Guangzhou for her debut Asian Games where she will participate in the women's sabre team competition.

Soundbite 'This year I was in Europe for three months to take part in circuit competitions. We were based in Spain and I had a good time with my teammates and my elder brother Lam Hin-chung, who is also a fencer on the Hong Kong team. I learned more about him there than I did at home,' Lam says.

'When I was in Form Five, I only took three subjects in the HKCEE because I had to prepare for the AFC. My mum was very worried about my academic results and asked me not to play in the AFC, but I refused.

'Luckily, my father was very supportive so I was able to go. It was very risky and when I think back on the situation, I can understand my mum's feelings.

'I lost to the same fencer, Tamara Pochekutova from Kazakhstan, in the AFC last year and the Asian Cadet and Junior Fencing Championships this year.

'But I had my revenge when I beat her in the team event at this year's AFC. I used to be a little shaky when I met stronger fencers or those who had beaten me before, but after achieving this victory over Tamara, I think I can handle the matches better now.'

From her coach 'Iris has improved in terms of her ability and technique this year. She is representing Hong Kong in the [ongoing] Asian Games in Guangzhou. It would be great if she can be more determined and aggressive during matches,' says Wang Ruiji, head coach of the Hong Kong fencing team.

Ambitions 'I haven't made any plans for the future yet. I am now focused on the Asian Games and I hope I can work with and learn from my senior teammates at the Games. I also want to win a medal with them in the competition,' says Lam.