Monday, July 12, 2010

Asian bronze for women's foil team

SINGAPORE - Swashbuckling heroines at the 2005 SEA Games in Manila, where they clinched Team Singapore's first SEA Games fencing gold medal since 1989, the women's foil team were poised for success at the Asian Games in Doha a year later.

But it was back to the drawing board for Ruth Ng, Tay Yu Ling, Serene Ser and Wang Wenying after the quartet finished fifth with a 45-35 loss to Kazakhstan in the quarter-finals in Qatar.

The chase for Asian Games glory in Guangzhou (Nov 12 to 27) received a huge boost yesterday, after the women's team of Ng, Tay, Wang and Cheryl Wong won a bronze medal at the Asian Fencing Championships in South Korea.

Ranked fourth in Asia, the women received a bye into the quarter-finals, where they trounced arch-rivals Hong Kong 45-32 before bowing out 45-21 to hosts South Korea in the semi-finals, who went on to clinch the gold after a 45-18 victory over Japan in the final.

Singapore and China finished joint-third.

Held at Seoul's Olympic Park, the Asian Fencing Championships features the best epee, foil and sabre fencers from Asia and Oceania, including South Korea, Japan, China, Kazakhstan and Australia.

Speaking to MediaCorp from Seoul, Ng said: "We are still keeping our eyes on the Asian Games and will continue working hard towards it. Our first Asian senior team bronze was in 2007. This makes us more inspired to press on and break new ground."

Added national women's foil coach Viatcheslav Bobok: "We have had quite a close contest with Hong Kong over the years and this victory will give the girls more confidence in their next competition, especially the Asian Games. We have a very good chance in Guangzhou."

Next up on the schedule for the women's foil team is a host of European regional events in mid-September, the Commonwealth Fencing Championships in Melbourne from Sept 29 to Oct 5, followed by the World Fencing Championships in Paris (Nov 1-9). The foil team will also travel to Hungary for a 10-day training camp in September alongside national teams from Japan, Russia, Germany and France.
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