Vivian Kong is Hong Kong’s first female to win an Asian Fencing Championships gold medal

The 24-year-old rebounds after 10 months out with a serious knee injury to triumph in the épée in Bangkok

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 June, 2018, 4:30pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 June, 2018, 10:56pm

Vivian Kong Man-wai showed she has recovered from a serious knee injury with victory at the Asian Fencing Championships.

After an anterior cruciate ligament operation 10 months ago, the 24-year-old became the first female from Hong Kong to win gold at the regional championships with victory in the women’s épée in Bangkok on Tuesday.

Last summer in front of a packed crowd at the AsiaWorld-Expo, Kong was close to taking Asian gold when she led Kang Young-mi of South Korea 12-8, before losing 13-12.

But Kong claimed “things never happen the same way twice” after beating the same opponent 10-9 on Tuesday.

Dr Patrick Yung Shu-hang, who operated on Kong’s knee, was not surprised to see the speedy recovery of the fencer, praising her as “one of the strongest of the thousand athletes” he has performed ACL surgery on.

“Physically, mentally and psychologically she is one of the best. I did my job as usual and she is the key anchor of her own success,” said Yung, an orthopaedic surgeon at Prince of Wales Hospital.

The world No 16 already held a Hong Kong record after she became the first fencer from the city to win an Olympic bout at the 2016 Rio Games, before falling in the last 16.

And it was not only Kong that achieved success in Bangkok. Starring in her first Asian Championships, 17-year-old Kaylin Hsieh Sin-yan captured a bronze medal.

Hsieh, who won the world cadet championships in April, thrashed world No 2 Sun Yiwen of China 15-10 in the round of 16 before losing to Kang in the semi-finals.

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Another Hongkonger, Coco Lin Yik-hei, also reached the quarter-finals and lost to Hsieh. The trio could make a formidable combination when they start in the team event on Friday.

Hong Kong has already won five individual medals at the tournament, with Cheung Siu-lun capturing a gold in the men’s foil and Fong Hoi-sun and Lam Hin-wai taking bronze in the men’s épée and women’s sabre respectively.