Why is the Asian fencing champion missing the Asian Games? Hongkonger only has himself to blame
Cheung Siu-lun is crowned regional winner but the result is too late to earn a place in the team to Indonesia
Newly crowned Asian champion Cheung Siu-lun blamed himself for missing selection for the Asian Games in Indonesia, despite claiming his first major success at regional level.
Cheung cruised to a 15-7 victory over Heo Jun of South Korea in the men’s individual foil at the Asian Fencing Championships in Bangkok last weekend, but the chance of making it to the Asian Games has gone.
“I have learned a big lesson,” said the Cheung, who turns 33 next month. “I should have grasped the opportunity when it came, and now I can’t blame anybody but myself.
“I have been struggling with my form at such an age and was considering quitting, but my form has returned thanks to my coach Wang Changyong at the Sports Institute, who did not give up on me and continued to offer me opportunities.”
Cheung blew his last chance of being selected for the men’s foil team to the Asian Games after losing to up-and-coming Ryan Choi Chun-yin in the final of the Hong Kong President’s Cup two weeks ago.
Choi joined world No 11 Cheung Ka-long, world No 20 Nicholas Choi and Yeung Chi-ka, the number one in local rankings, in the team for Indonesia.
Cheung Ka-long and the two Chois also took part in the Asian Championships but finished behind Cheung Siu-lun.
A chastened Cheung said he would volunteer as a training partner for the Games-bound quartet as he had plenty of international experience to offer.
“I have spent over a decade attempting to reach the top of the podium in this regional championship,” he said. “Every time I tried to change the colour of the medal I won before. It is of course a dream come true, although it has come a bit late.”
Cheung’s previous best result was in 2013 when he won a bronze medal in Shanghai.