Asian Games 2018 countdown: Lau Ywen (fencing)

Asian Games: An expression of herself and her beloved craft

The 18-year-old picked up fencing at the age of eight and is now preparing for her second Asian Games.
Three hairline cracks were detected in her lower back early last year. That left Lau Ywen unable to train for months but she recovered to win the individual sabre gold at last year's SEA Games. The 18-year-old will make her second appearance at the A
Three hairline cracks were detected in her lower back early last year. That left Lau Ywen unable to train for months but she recovered to win the individual sabre gold at last year's SEA Games. The 18-year-old will make her second appearance at the Asian Games.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

There's always something that triggers an athlete. It could be a terrible defeat, an accident, a piece of coaching advice or a crucial win. As our athletes head to the Asian Games, we asked a few of them: What was the spark that shaped your athletic life? These are their stories.../Past triumphs will mean greater scrutiny but teen believes key is to be fearless and trust in own philosophy

Through the grid of her mask, she could barely make out the faces of those sitting beyond the curtain of light hanging over the piste on which she stood. Lau Ywen remembers the nervous symphony of heartbeat and breath that was the soundtrack to her wait in the French city of Bourges.

"I've memorised that moment, I know exactly what I did," she said.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 12, 2018, with the headline 'An expression of herself and her beloved craft'. Print Edition | Subscribe