Vivian Kong Man-wai is hoping to end her run of misfortune as she and her fellow Hong Kong fencers head to Poland this weekend for the last World Cup of the season. Twice this season the world No 8’s event has been abruptly abandoned – because of protests about Ukraine and a president’s death respectively. First, the World Cup in Sochi, Russia, was suspended in February with Kong into the semi-finals and looking good for a first medal of the season. A series of protests and withdrawals from the fencers following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine led to the event being suspended before Kong’s last-four duel with Russian opponent Violetta Kolobova, whose previous two opponents had withdrawn. Then, two weeks ago in the United Arab Emirates, the Fujairah World Cup series was about to move into its second day when the host country entered a state of mourning after the death of its president – forcing the fencing to be cancelled. Kong, who was into the knockout round of 64, missed out again. Having reached the quarter-finals at the Tokyo Olympics last summer, Kong had set her sights on regaining her old world No 1 spot this season, which will end after the World Championships in Cairo in July. The 28-year-old previously held the top ranking in the 2019 season, when she won world bronze. Hong Kong await Sochi decision, with fencing chief Usmanov hit by sanctions To have a chance of reaching the pinnacle again, Kong must hope to avoid any further unforeseen incidents. But her head coach Zheng Kangzhao said that she had the ability to get there and was keen to prove it in Katowice. “We have no doubt that she has the quality as one of the world’s best,” he said. “These days the competition is very tough at the highest level – anyone among the top 16 can win a World Cup series. “We have given the fencers the choice of whether to return to Hong Kong after the UAE event or go for the last World Cup series of the season in Poland, and Kong wants to go. She wants to give a last effort to prove herself.” Given that a seven-day quarantine requirement is still in place for arrivals in Hong Kong, she and teammate Coco Lin Yik-hei will fly straight to Seoul afterwards for the Asian Championships in June. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Moonie Chu 朱嘉望 (@moonieckm) The duo will be joined there by Moonie Chu Ka-mong and Chan Wai-ling, who returned home after the UAE event and will take part in the President’s Cup in Hong Kong on June 4 to 5 after completing their required isolation period. Kaylin Hsieh Sin-yan , Hong Kong’s second-highest-ranked player behind Kong, at No 48, will not have a place in the four-member squad for the Asian Championships, to be held between June 10 and 15. “Fencers in the world’s top 32 can make it into the squad automatically, and after that it will be chosen in accordance with the home rankings,” coach Zheng said. “Hsieh has been studying in the United States since last year and her domestic ranking is fifth behind Lin, Chu and Chan.” The coach said that Debbie Ho Tik-lam – who remains second in the home rankings, which would have qualified her for the Asian Championships – had withdrawn from the Hong Kong team because of work commitments. Ho was a member of the Hong Kong épée team for last year’s China National Games and put up a strong fight against the mainland Chinese team in the quarter-finals, when they were narrowly beaten 45-42.