Now to complete my collection for 2018: Junior fencer Kaylin Hsieh aims for medal glory at the Argentina Youth Olympics
Junior fencer Kaylin Hsieh Sin-yan has already achieved a “wonderful” 2018. Now she wants to put the icing on the cake when she represents Hong Kong at the Youth Olympics, which kicks off in Argentina next month.
The 17-year-old fencer will head to Buenos Aires as part of a record 25-strong Hong Kong team that will compete at the Games, which feature young athletes from nearly 200 countries between the ages of 15 to 18.
A total of 32 sports will be contested and the Sha Tin College student, who was crowned girls’ épée world cadet champion in April, is hungry for more medals after becoming only the third Hong Kong fencer to achieve medals at all the major competitions for junior fencers.
She also won an individual bronze medal at the senior Asian Championships and last month won bronze at the Asian Games in Jakarta, also in épée.
Hsieh is not about to rest on her laurels. She wants to continue her fine run by winning a medal at the Youth Olympics, where the world’s top junior fencers will compete.
“The Youth Olympics is a once in a lifetime experience, just like the slogan YOLO – you only live once as there is an age limit for the sporting extravaganza,” said Hsieh at yesterday’s flag presentation ceremony for the Games.
“I want to perform well in Argentina and return with little regret, just like other Hong Kong junior athletes did before me. If they can make it, why not me?”
Foilist Ryan Choi Chun-yin snatched one gold and one silver at the Youth Olympics in Nanjing four years ago.
Badminton player Ng Tsz-yau also took gold in the mixed doubles, partnering a Malaysian shuttler.
Swimmer Siobhan Haughey, now a world-class athlete, captured two silver medals in Nanjing as did paddler Doo Hoi-kem in women’s singles.
Hsieh, however, said there will not be any extra pressure on her to emulate the success of her predecessors.
“I have learned a lot this year after competing in many international events and I have become very strong in my mental state,” she said.
“I only need to grasp every opportunity that comes my way and do my best. The rest will come.”
Swimmer Ho Nam-wai, 16, is a member of the Hong Kong team that won two bronze medals in the women’s 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle relay at the Asian Games, but did not perform well in her individual events.
“I have to put the Asian Games behind me and look ahead to the Youth Olympics,,” said the Diocesan Girls’ School student. “My target is first to reach the final in the 400 metre freestyle and then see if I am good enough to win a medal.”
Other prominent members in the Hong Kong square windsurfer Mak Cheuk-wing, a former world junior champion, and swimmer Natalie Kan Cheuk-tung, who won bronze in the 4x200m freestyle relay in Jakarta.