Olympic fencing champion Cheung Ka-long makes Hong Kong history again with World Cup gold
- World No 4 Cheung beats Italian Luperi in the final after stunning world No 1 Foconi in the semis
- Chief Executive Carrie Lam hails Olympic champion’s performance, says he has made the city very proud
Tokyo Olympic fencing champion Cheung Ka-long has made Hong Kong history once again after winning men’s individual foil gold at the FIE World Cup in Paris.
The 24-year-old beat Edoardo Luperi of Italy 15-12 in Saturday’s final in what was his first international outing since the Summer Games.
Cheung, the world No 4, impressed throughout the competition, including a blitzing of world No 1 and former world champion Alessio Foconi of Italy 15-4 in their semi-final.
On the way to the final, Cheung first edged out France’s Alexandre Ediri 15-13, then former Asian Games and Asian Championships gold medallist Ha Tae-gyu 15-14 in the round of 32. He overpowered Ha’s South Korean compatriot Kim Dong-su 15-5, and France’s Enzo Lefort 15-9, before shocking Foconi and Luperi.
With less than an hour’s break until the final against Luperi, Cheung trailed by five points before securing another monumental win.
“I’m so proud of what [Cheung] did, it’s amazing,” coach and France native Greg Koenig said in a video posted on Instagram.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor congratulated Cheung, and said he had made the city very proud
In a Facebook post, she said the city’s athletes had continued to perform remarkably after the Tokyo Olympics, adding her government would continue to support the professional development of local athletes.
“I hope the next term of administration will accept our recommendation to restructure the government and set up a new Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau to push forward the relevant work,” she wrote.
The Home Affairs Bureau also congratulated Cheung, and called on people to continue supporting the Hong Kong fencing team as well as other local athletes.
Separately, Ryan Choi Chun-yin, the world No 11 and Cheung’s Hong Kong teammate, narrowly fell to Foconi 15-14 in the quarter-finals, while Shawn Cheung Siu-lun reached the last 64 after beating teammate Cheung Ngo-chun.
Nicholas Edward Choi, Lawrence Ng Lok-wang, Yeung Chi-ka, Cheng Tit-nam, Chiu Man-to, Leung Chin-yu, Kyle Chan, and Lucas Brendan Choy bowed out in the preliminary rounds.
Cheung will compete for another medal alongside his men’s foil teammates on Sunday.
In 2019, women’s epeeist Vivian Kong Man-wai became the first Hong Kong fencer to win a World Cup title in Havana, Cuba.