Fencing: An honour to be chosen for Asian post, says fencer Lee

National epee fencer Samson Lee is the first Singaporean to be elected to the Fencing Confederation of Asia Athletes' Commission.
National epee fencer Samson Lee is the first Singaporean to be elected to the Fencing Confederation of Asia Athletes' Commission.PHOTO: SPORT SINGAPORE

As the first Singaporean member of the Fencing Confederation of Asia (FCA) Athletes' Commission, national fencer Samson Lee may not know what exactly his duties are yet, but he hopes to play a part in bringing more competitions across different standards to the continent.

The FCA is the governing body for fencing in Asia, and its Athletes' Commission will look after the welfare of Asian fencers, among other duties.

Lee joins four other members - Lam Hin Chung of Hong Kong, Korean Jeon Heesook, Iran's Mojtaba Abedinishormasti and Jamilya Yunusbayeba of Kazakhstan - as well as vice-chairman Sun Yu Jie of China and chairman Yuki Ota of Japan, a two-time Olympic silver medallist.

The seven-strong team, announced during the recent Asian Fencing Championships in Hong Kong, will serve a four-year term.

Lee, who started fencing at 17, told The Straits Times he felt honoured to be elected, and is looking forward to the experience.

With most major fencing competitions held in Europe, the 30-year-old epee fencer believes having more tournaments in Asia will go a long way towards raising the level of the sport.

Adding that Asian fencing powerhouses like Japan, Korea and China frequently travel to Europe to compete, Lee said: "For the Asian countries who don't have the means to travel that much, having more competitions here will definitely benefit us more by letting fencers compete with opponents who have different styles.

"That kind of experience will help you improve."

Yip Renkai, chairman of the Singapore National Olympic Council Athletes' Commission, said Lee's inclusion shows that Singapore's athletes are "willing to step up to really look at the welfare of the athletes not only in Singapore, but also the region".

"It just shows that our athletes do have the willingness to serve and at the same time, their peers know that they can contribute," added the former national water polo player.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 21, 2017, with the headline 'An honour to be chosen for Asian post: Fencer Lee'. Print Edition | Subscribe