Chan cuts dash as epee star of world

ANGELA Chan Pui-yuk became Hong Kong's first woman fencer to get a world ranking when she reached the third round of a Grade A epee tournament in Zoetermeer, in Holland at the weekend.

Chan, a member of last year's Asian Championship silver-medal-winning team, survived a group competition to reach the direct elimination round in which she beat an Estonian opponent.

However, she was beaten in the next match by Switzerland's Pentucci Isabell, who eventually finished second in the tournament which attracted 114 fencers from 24 countries.

National coach Edmund Wong Siu-kong said: ''Angela came 63rd and earned her first world ranking point, which is very important in our build-up to the Commonwealth Championships in June.

''Most of the top fencers from around the world were there and Angela's achievement has boosted our confidence of a Commonwealth medal if we are given the green light to send the women epeeists to Canada.'' Joining Chan on the two-week training and competition stint to Europe were Leanne Lee Ling-woon and Alice Yeung Suk-han, who finished 82nd and 83rd respectively in Zoetermeer.

Coach Wong said it was the women epee team's first training tour to Europe and the three fencers would benefit from their exposure to such high-level competition.

Meanwhile, the men's foil squad of Ringo Lo Chi-hong, Tang Kwong-hau and Wong Tsan will be going off on a three-week training tour of Europe next Monday.

All three fencers are members of the team which captured a bronze medal at the Beijing Asian Games four years ago and will again be leading Hong Kong's challenge in Hiroshima this year.