Cool Koreans fend off China for epee gold

An overjoyed South Korea fencer Choi Eun Sook, after scoring the winning point against China's Sun Yujie in the women's epee team final. Her team were up 34-30 and she scored the last 11 points for victory.
An overjoyed South Korea fencer Choi Eun Sook, after scoring the winning point against China's Sun Yujie in the women's epee team final. Her team were up 34-30 and she scored the last 11 points for victory.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

THEY were leading the five-time defending champions China, but the South Korean women's epee team showed neither fear nor nerves in the Asian Fencing Championships at the OCBC Arena Hall One yesterday.

The world No. 8 team's patient, composed fencing paid off against their opponents, who are ranked four spots higher.

  • Asian Fencing Championships

  • YESTERDAY

    Men's team foil

    Final: China bt South Korea 45-31. Third: Japan bt Hong Kong 45-42

    Women's team epee

    Final: South Korea bt China 45-40. Third: Japan bt Hong Kong 45-31

    TODAY

    Men's team sabre

    From 9am: 13 teams, including world No. 2 South Korea, No. 9 China, No. 11 Iran, No. 15 Japan, No. 16 Hong Kong and No. 37 Singapore

    Women's team foil

    From 10am: 11 teams, including world No. 4 South Korea, No. 7 China, No. 10 Japan and No. 21 Singapore.

It was then left to Choi Eun Sook to apply the coup de grace, as she scored the final 11 points needed against Sun Yujie to clinch the final 45-40.

"We went in relaxed and played naturally. We were not result-driven and I am very happy with the outcome," said veteran South Korean fencer Shin A Lam, 28, who was part of the silver-medal winning team at the 2012 London Olympics.

This is the country's first Asian title since they last beat China in 2009.

Said China's coach Xu Xuening: "We definitely played too anxiously today and that gave us away. Once we had fallen behind, we had a hard time catching up."

At least their men's foil team made up for the disappointment by retaining their title, convincingly beating South Korea 45-31.

Said Lei Sheng, the 2012 Olympic men's foil champion: "This was a good showing and a boost to our Olympic campaign, and we will soon be facing the South Koreans again at the World Championships in Moscow next month."

Singapore's men's foil team, who clinched a SEA Games gold earlier this month, were sixth after losing to Australia 42-44.

The host's women's epee team settled for eighth place, despite beating SEA Games champions Vietnam 45-32 in the last 16.

yzchoo@sph.com.sg

chongcjy@sph.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 30, 2015, with the headline 'Cool Koreans fend off China for epee gold'. Print Edition | Subscribe