Story by Stefanus Ian/Red Sports. Photos by Jeremy Ho and Stefanus Ian/Red Sports
OCBC Arena, Sunday, July 2, 2017 — On the third and final day of fencing at the 2017 Singapore Youth Olympics Festival, Simon Lee of Singapore Sports School (SSP), secured the gold medal in the under-14 Individual Boys’ Epee category while Kemei Cheung clinched the under-14 Individual Girls’ Foil category.
Despite losing one of his poules bouts earlier in the day, Lee picked himself up and managed to fight his way to the final to face fellow schoolmate Ryan Tan. Lee said both finalists knew each other’s styles and with that knowledge, he said the match became “a waiting game”.
“We know each other’s styles because we are from the same school,” said Lee, who has been training together with Tan since last year at SSP when they were in secondary one.
In the final, both fencers took their time to size up each other, using up the three periods of three minutes. It was only in the final one minute of the bout that the two fencers sprang to all-out action.
Tan was first to take the lead scoring a touch early on. With the pressure mounting on Lee, the 14-year-old did not buckle.
“I wanted him to attack deep so I can stop him,” Lee added, saying that it was his strategy.
Sticking to his gameplan, Lee managed to get away with two touches to Tan’s shoulder to make his comeback. With less than 20 seconds on the clock, Tan tried to overturn the score but could not find the decisive point and he had to settle for silver.
In the Girls’ Foil category, Cheung comfortably sealed the top spot with a 15-1 victory over Natalia Yau-Cortes. The 11-year-old fencer said she observed how Natalia fenced in the semi-final against Chen Jingxuan and came up with a strategy for the final.
“I saw from the previous match, when she fenced Jingxuan, that her movement is not faster than me,” explained Cheung.
Using that to her advantage, she said she kept waiting for her opponent to attack before making her move.
“After she attacks, although she has a longer attack (reach), but I can move back one step and then I can easily hit,” she added.
Cheung raced to a 6-1 lead within the first period of the bout. Following the break, Natalia came out fighting with renewed tenacity, attempting to narrow the deficit. But Cheung was able to keep her composure and patiently waited for her opportunities. Cheung eventually came out on top with a score of 15-1.
In the other events on Sunday, Lam Hui Xin of YMCA secured the under-14 Girls’ Epee Individual title beating Oh Xin Yu 15-6 while Chan Phu Xien from SSP clinched the under-14 Boys’ Sabre Individual with a score of 15-11. Joel Chiu of SSP then beat fellow schoolmate Chern Ze Hou to take gold for the under-14 Boys’ Foil Individual.
With fencing wrapping up its competitions, the Singapore Youth Olympics Festival will next feature shooting next weekend at the SAFRA Yishun Air Weapons Shooting Range.
U14 Boys’ Epee Individual
1st Lee Simon Renjie
2nd Tan Ryan Jun Quan
3rd Chia Thadeus Juay Che
3rd Yu Zonglin
U14 Girls’ Epee Individual
1st Lam Hui Xin
2nd Oh Xin Yu
3rd Sayson Samantha Beatrice Dizon
3rd Tan Shu Tsi Elisa
U14 Boys’ Foil Individual
1st Chiu Joel Ka Jyn
2nd Chern Ze Hou
3rd Lim Teng Jun
3rd Tan Raphael
U14 Girls’ Foil Individual
1st Cheung Kemei
2nd Yau-Cortes Natalia
3rd Chen Jingxuan
3rd Tay Anna Wan Enn
U14 Boys’ Sabre Individual
1st Chan Phu Xien
2nd Chua Jarvis
3rd Dan Wei Zuo
3rd Lee Legolas Zhao Yu
More photos next page