On the rise, fencing builds towards 2020

Re-elected chief Juliana Seow wants fraternity to unite and focus on plans for Olympic cycle

For re-elected Fencing Singapore president Juliana Seow, engaging the community and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be among the key targets to achieve during her new two-year term.

Seow, 45, was challenged by former president Adrian Lee (2005-2009) and his team at last night's annual general meeting at the Sports Hub, and won in a vote of 16 affiliates - comprising local clubs and academies, and tertiary institutions.

Despite securing her third term, she insisted that the fencing community would "work together".

"Fencers are the focus of the national sports association (NSA), and whatever happens in an AGM, the fencing community would work together," she said after the election.

"Together with the whole community, we have built a skeleton of the multi-year sports plan and we will share it with the whole community."

Fencing has been on the rise in recent years. At the 2015 SEA Games on home soil, the national fencers bagged a record 13 medals - three golds, three silvers and seven bronzes. At last month's Kuala Lumpur SEA Games, they followed up with another two golds and three bronzes.

VIRTUOUS CIRCLE

Starting from 2020, we have to have Olympic-ready fencers and with every (Olympic) cycle, we'll have many more in the pipeline. At the end of the day, we depend on them to inspire the rest of the community.

YAU WEE SIAN , re-elected vice-president (high performance), on the long-term aim.

Young stars have also been discovered, such as Lau Ywen, who won the Junior and Cadet World Championships in April last year. Her cadet (Under-17) sabre gold was Singapore's first fencing title on the world stage.

The 17-year-old was also named Sportsgirl of the Year at last month's Singapore Sports Awards.

Seow is looking beyond these achievements and towards the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

She said: "We are still building (towards it). We'll engage our affiliates and Singapore Sports Institute, (as well as) consultants."

Besides the post of president, nine other positions were up for election last night - three vice-presidents, three committee members, secretary-general, treasurer and assistant treasurer.

Re-elected vice-president (high performance) Yau Wee Sian said: "With the executive committee in place, it then allows the exco to take (the plan for Tokyo 2020) forward in the coming two months.

"Definitely, part of the strategy is to have an Olympic pathway, so that could really take the community forward.

"Starting from 2020, we have to have Olympic-ready fencers and with every (Olympic) cycle, we'll have many more in the pipeline.

"At the end of the day, we depend on them to inspire the rest of the community."

Plans regarding the Tokyo 2020 Games are currently under discussion within the committee.

Lee's team included another former president Nicholas Fang, who challenged for all three vice-president positions. He was unsuccessful. The three-time SEA Games bronze medallist had lost the presidency to Seow in 2013.

Former national fencer Wang Wenying - who won two golds at the 2015 SEA Games - was also on Lee's team, and she contested the assistant treasurer post.

Seow added: "Whatever happens at an AGM, we will always come out and work collectively together."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 27, 2017, with the headline 'On the rise, fencing builds towards 2020'. Print Edition | Subscribe