Fencing: Singapore women's foil team clinch joint-bronze at Asian championships

The team, consisting of (from left) Maxine Wong, Amita Berthier, Denyse Chan and Cheung Kemei, won their first medal in the event since 2010. PHOTO: FENCING SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - A month after a spectacular haul of medals at the SEA Games in Hanoi, Singapore's fencers enjoyed an impressive outing at the Asian Fencing Championships in Seoul, with the women's foil team clinching a joint-bronze on Tuesday (June 14).

This was the team's first medal in the event since 2010, when Ruth Ng, Tay Yu Ling, Wang Wenying and Cheryl Wong also finished fourth.

"It is a successful progression from SEA Games to the Asian Fencing Championships," said Maxine Wong, who bagged an individual silver and team gold in Vietnam.

"Asian Fencing Championships is a much higher level competition than South-east Asia as there are many strong fencers among China, Japan and Korea etc.

"So, us being able to win this medal shows that we can compete with Asia's best."

Wong and teammates Amita Berthier, Denyse Chan and Cheung Kemei had been guaranteed of a bronze medal when they advanced to the semi-finals after beating Hong Kong 45-31 in the table-of-eight bout.

They then lost to eventual champions Japan 45-31 in the semi-finals, before they were beaten 44-35 by South Korea in the third-place bout.

This experience at the Asian Fencing Championships has fuelled the ambitions of the fencers, who are eager to build on the progress they have made since the previous edition of the competition in 2019.

That year, they were knocked out in the quarter-finals after losing 42-41 to Hong Kong.

This year's competition has also offered many valuable lessons, which they are hoping to carry forward as they prepare for the July 15-23 World Fencing Championships in Cairo, Egypt.

"The bout against South Korea was interesting and I think we gave a good fight but their wisdom and experience as a team beat us," said Berthier, who did not take part in the SEA Games because of school commitments.

"However, what it also showed us was that with continued faith and commitment, we can run as hard as the power houses in Asia."

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