Newly crowned junior world champion Kaylin Hsieh Sin-yan warned this is just the beginning after she became the third junior fencing champion from Hong Kong following her victory in Verona, Italy, on Monday night.
The 10th seed made it all the way through to the girls’ Under-17 epee gold medal match where she defeated Emily Vermeule of the United States 15-13 in a thrilling final.
“I’ve been thinking about this moment ever since I lost in the top 64 last year,” said the 16-year-old, who went full-time last year. “That day I told myself I would work hard and come back with a gold as well as being qualified for the youth Olympics.
“I always seek to improve, to be the best version of myself, and make history for Hong Kong. This is only the beginning.
“It is a goal accomplished and finally I can say I have made it.”
Another Hong Kong girl Karina Leung Kay-sze was eliminated in the round of 32 following a close 15-14 defeat by Sara Kowalczyk of Italy.
Despite her youth, Hsieh was crowned Hong Kong Open champion last year when she defeated Coco Lin Yik-hei in the final. Lin represented Hong Kong at the 2014 Asian Games.
After her victory, Hsieh vowed her coming targets would be the Asian Games in Indonesia this summer as well as the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires in October.
Her victory in Verona has guaranteed her berth in Argentina.
Last year, Cheung Ka-long clinched the world junior title in the men’s foil in Bulgaria following in the footsteps of Karen Chang Ngai-hing, who claimed the girls’ sabre title in 2013.