Fencing: Wang's Rio dream ends after defeat in Wuxi

Wang Wenying has failed to qualify for this August's Rio Olympics, after she crashed out of the women's foil round of 16 at the Asia and Oceania Qualifiers.
Wang Wenying has failed to qualify for this August's Rio Olympics, after she crashed out of the women's foil round of 16 at the Asia and Oceania Qualifiers. ST FILE PHOTO

National fencer Wang Wenying failed in her bid to qualify for the Olympic Games, when she bowed out of the women's foil round of 16 at the Asia and Oceania Qualifiers yesterday morning.

The Singaporean needed to finish in the top three at the event in Wuxi, China to earn a spot in August's Rio de Janeiro Games.

But Wang, 35, was nowhere close to achieving that goal of becoming the first Singaporean fencer to make it to the Summer Games.

The world No. 56 was upset 14-15 by Malaysian fencer Natasha Ezzra Abu Baker, ranked 141st.

A disappointed Wang said: "I felt I could have done better today. Looking back, I wish I had more competitive opportunities."

Added national foil coach Simon Senft: "I am disappointed with our performance. I think we tried our best but we could see how much pressure this competition can put on our athletes. I am sad for her (Wenying) because I feel she would really have deserved it."

Seeded 11th, Wang had scraped through the opening pool round with two wins and four losses to face Natasha Ezzra in the first knockout round of 16.

Wang is the third-highest-ranked fencer among the field of 14, with only two competitors ranked higher than her.

In a day to forget, other Singaporeans were also swept aside at the qualifiers.

Cheryl Lim came close to a qualification spot but lost 12-14 to Nguyen Thi Nhu Hoa of Vietnam in the women's epee quarter-finals.

Clive Leu was eliminated in the pool round of the men's sabre event, when he finished 13th out of 14 fencers.

The two-day competition continues today with the men's foil and epee, and women's sabre events.

Apart from Lim, the five other Singapore fencers will remain in Wuxi for the Asian Championships.

They will be joined by 18 other national fencers for the continental meet which starts tomorrow.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 12, 2016, with the headline 'Wang's Rio dream ends after defeat in Wuxi'. Print Edition | Subscribe