Milestone Win For Fencer Wang

She may have won Singapore’s first fencing gold medal at the SEA Games yesterday, but Wang Wenying is in no mood to party just yet.

Wang, 35, became the first Singaporean athlete in 26 years to win the top individual fencing honour at the Games when she beat the Philippine’s Justine Gail Tinio in the final of the women’s foil event at the OCBC Arena.

Having participated in two previous Games — she won gold and silver in the team foil events at the 2007 and 2011 editions, respectively — Wang’s experience was crucial in the final as she raced to a 3-0 lead in the first period against her 19-year-old opponent, and it was a lead she never relinquished. Wang, cheered on by the raucous home crowd, powered through to a comfortable 15-7 victory.

But instead of taking the time to savour her milestone victory, Wang was already looking ahead to winning gold at her next event — the team foil on Saturday (June 6).

“I don’t have any plans to celebrate my victory just yet,” said Wang. “For now, I just want to focus on the team match because that will be another tough challenge for us. But we are all well prepared and I trust my team-mates, so I think we can win gold for that. But, of course, to win the individual gold means a lot to me still, especially as this will probably be my last SEA Games. I think being able to train full-time, coupled with my experience from the previous Games, made a difference in the end.”

Fencing Singapore (FS) had further cause for celebration as they took home another two silver and one bronze medal yesterday.

Singapore’s top male fencer Lim Wei Wen came close to winning the Republic’s first men’s fencing gold, but ultimately fell short in the epee final as he was beaten 15-8 by tournament top seed Nguyen Tien Nhat of Vietnam. Samson Lee, who lost to Nguyen in the semi-finals, clinched joint-bronze with Thailand’s Chamcharern Panthawit.

“I’m very happy to win the silver, although of course I would have loved to win the gold,” said Lim. “Nguyen surprised me with a switch in his tactics which caught me off guard. But I promise to come back stronger from this loss in the team event.”

Singapore’s Choy Yu Yong also had to settle for a silver, as he fell 15-11 to another Vietnamese, Thanh An Vu, in the Men’s Sabre competition.

Singapore’s four-medal haul on the first day of the fencing competition already surpasses their previous tally at the 2011 Games, when they won only one silver and two bronze.

The fencing competition continues today with the men’s individual foil, women’s individual epee and women’s individual sabre.



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