SINGAPORE - National sabre fencer Lau Ywen has won the LCSD Open Fencing Championships in Hong Kong on Sunday (Oct 8).
The 17-year-old SEA Games champion reeled off seven points in a row from 8-13 down to beat defending champion Lam Hin Wai of Hong Kong 15-13 in the final at the Shek Kip Mei Park Sports Centre.
In the semi-finals, Ywen had beaten Hong Kong's 2010 Asian Games silver medallist Au Sin Ying by an identical scoreline.
Both Lam, 26, and Au, 28, were part of the Hong Kong team which won a bronze medal at the Incheon Asian Games in 2014.
Ywen could not fence for the first half of the year after suffering a stress fracture in her back, and even though she triumphed at August's SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, she is still on the comeback trail from the injury.
She said: “I’m still not at 100 per cent. Because of the injury, my back muscles have become weak and it gets more easily fatigued now. I’ve got to take a lot of care in keeping my back conditioned by applying heat pads and sprays and do more stretching exercises.
“But the more I fence, the more I will be able to build the muscles up again.”
To ensure that the injury does not flare up again, Ywen had to tweak her fencing style.
She explained: “This time, I had to use a different style from what I’m used to. It’s a low tempo style when I fence at a slower speed. That means that at the start of a point, I’m not rushing into it, I will watch and observe more.
“I came into this tournament without expecting to win a medal because I knew that the Hong Kong fencers were stronger and older than me.
“So this win is a good achievement for me because I could use a different style to win.
“Through my physical limitation, I’ve expanded my repertoire in fencing.”
Her coach David Chan added: “We have been working on new things to reduce the impact on her back. So we’ve tried to reduce the number of explosive actions when she fences.
“The fact that she could beat some of the Hong Kong senior team members who are ahead of us in the world rankings when she (Ywen) is still on the comeback from injury, it is an achievement we’ve managed to accomplish.”
Singapore's Victoria Ann Lim won the women's epee in last year's edition of the LCSD Open Fencing Championships.
There were 16 national fencers who took part in this year's competition held on over the weekend.
Cheryl Lim won the women's epee bronze on Saturday while Maxine Wong won a silver in the women's foil.