SEA Games: Double joy for Vietnam as fencers win the country's first Games golds

Vietnam's Nguyen Tien Nhat (right) beats Singapore's Lim Wei Wen (left) 15-8 during the finals of the Men's individual épée match held at the OCBC Arena Hall 2 on June 3, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN 
Vietnam's Nguyen Tien Nhat (right) beats Singapore's Lim Wei Wen (left) 15-8 during the finals of the Men's individual épée match held at the OCBC Arena Hall 2 on June 3, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN 

SINGAPORE - Vietnam earned their first gold medals of the 28th SEA Games on the opening day of fencing at the OCBC Arena.

Epee fencer Nguyen Tien Nhat beat Singapore's Lim Wei Wen to clinch the first gold of the day, before Vu Thanh An defeated Singapore's Choy Yu Yong in the individual men's sabre event to make it double victory for Vietnam.

Nguyen had qualified first in the preliminary rounds after winning five out of five bouts, putting him directly in the quarter-finals while the other fencers had to compete in the round of 16.

Nguyen and Lim shared a joint bronze at last year's Asian Games, but Nguyen proved stronger this time around, putting up a dominant performance in the final to win 15-8.

It was a much closer match between Vu and Choy. Cheered on by a partisan home crowd, Choy managed to lead at 8-7. But Vu eventually prevailed, taking the final 15-11 to win Vietnam's second gold medal of the day.

Said Vu: "I was simply focused on finding the weakness of my opponent during the match.

"For the past two months leading up to the games, I wake up every morning feeling pressurised to perform, so I'm very happy to have succeeded in clinching the gold today."

berelow@sph.com.sg