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Cheung Siu-lun hopes to be back to competition by September. Photo: Handout

Hong Kong fencer Cheung not thinking about retirement, as Achilles injury sidelines him for 6 months

  • Olympian Cheung Siu-lun ruptured an Achilles tendon in May at the Incheon Grand Prix
  • Despite being 36, he is determined to return and has his sights on reaching Paris Olympics in 2024

Hong Kong Olympian Cheung Siu-lun is already planning a return to fencing after undergoing surgery for a ruptured Achilles tendon two weeks ago.

The injury could rule Cheung out for six months, but he has no plans to retire and is focused on returning to the piste and helping the men’s foil team qualify for the Paris Olympics in two years.

Cheung, who was the oldest member of the city’s Tokyo Olympic squad, was injured in the middle of May in the first knockout round of the Incheon Grand Prix in Korea. He was trailing world No 8 Alaaeldin Abouelkassem of Egypt 13-5 when he had to retire.

The 36-year-old fencer is focusing on his rehab at Hong Kong Sports Institute. Photo: Handout

The 36-year-old had surgery at Chinese University Medical Centre on May 19, one day after returning to Hong Kong, and is already making good progress.

“Three specialists worked on my operation and did an outstanding job,” Cheung said. “I stood up on the floor for the first time yesterday, and the physiotherapist discovered that my left ankle was already producing some power.

“They said that it takes around six weeks to do some strengthening, and I did it in two weeks, it is really encouraging.”

Cheung hopes to return to local competitions in September and be ready for the world series in November and ultimately “be with the team to fight for entries for the 2024 Paris Olympics”.

Alison Yu looks for ‘next Cheung Ka-long’ as fencing school seeks recovery

With the President’s Cup Fencing Championship in Hong Kong this weekend, Cheung’s teammates will get some last minute competition in before the Asian Championships next week in Korea.

“The highest we’ve achieved in the Asian Championships team was silver in 2018, I hope they can win gold this time,” he said. “Hong Kong is ready with world No 1 Cheung Ka-long and No 10 Ryan Choi Chun-yin in the team.”

With social-distancing restrictions still in effect in the city, the President’s Cup will take place behind closed doors at the Hong Kong Park Sports Centre in Admiralty.

Featuring men’s and women’s épée as well as men’s sabre on Saturday, among those tipped to win are reigning NCAA individual and team gold medallist Kaylin Hsieh Sin-yan.

Ryan Choi Chun-yin, Lawrence Ng Lok-wang, and Yeung Chi-ka, three Asian Championships foilists, will fight for the men’s title on Sunday, before heading to join Olympic gold medallist Cheung Ka-Long in Seoul.