Sunday, October 13, 2013

Hong Kong fencers stun China to win gold at East Asian Games

Cheung Siu-lun scored six points in a row in the last bout as Hong Kong stunned hosts China in the men’s team foil to clinch their first ever victory over the mainlanders on the international stage yesterday.
The emphatic 45-40 win at the Tianjin Foreign Language University Arena brought not only a East Asian Games gold medal but also wrapped up a successful fencing campaign for Hong Kong as they finished the event with a medal haul of one gold, one silver and six bronze.
Fencing was on the Games programme for the first time but also the last time as the EAG will change to a youth competition at its next edition in 2019.
Cheung, who was edged out of the foil individual semi-finals in a controversial 15-14 defeat by a South Korean fencer, was determined to make up for it in the team competition.
This is the first time we have beaten China in an international competition, it’s amazing
“This is the first time we have beaten China in an international competition, it’s amazing. I feel over the moon,” said 28-year-old Cheung, the eldest member of the quartet, which also comprises Chu Wing-hong and two promising youngsters Nicholas Choi and Yeung Chi-ka.
“It’s a team effort although I am very happy the coach trusted me by assigning me the job of the final bout which always decides the title.”
Hong Kong beat South Korea 45-35 in the semi-finals while China reached the final by thrashing Japan 45-28.
The 20-year-old Choi, who also won a bronze medal in the individual foil, said the victory gave them a strong boost for next year’s Incheon Asian Games. “China, South Korea and Japan are all here and we won’t be afraid of them any more,” said the fast-improving youngster, who also won a bronze medal at last month’s National Games.
In the women’s team epee, Hong Kong won bronze after losing to South Korea 45-26 in the semi-finals.
The tenpin bowlers won their first medal in Tianjin as the men’s team of five came second, behind favourites South Korea.
In swimming, promising Siobhan Haughey captured her fourth medal with a bronze in the women’s 200 metres freestyle in one minute, 59.77 seconds. China won the top two places through Qiu Yuhan and Guo Junjun, recording 1:57.75 and 1:59.49 respectively.
The male swimmers also claimed their first medal when their 4x100 freestyle relay team came third behind Japan and China.
A 10-man Hong Kong soccer team lost 5-2 to North Korea. Wong Wai was sent off in the 16th minute for a straight red card. “We still have a medal hope if we beat South Korea in the last match on Monday,” said coach Liu Chun-fai.
Shuttlers Lee Chun-hei and Chau Hoi-wah reached the mixed doubles finals and will take on Xu Chen and Ma Chun of China for the gold medal today. Men’s doubles Lee and Ng Ka-long took bronze after they lost in the semi-finals to Taiwan.

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