THE Malaysian backup (Pelapis) squad stole the show at the Penang Powiis Junior Fencing Championship 2014 by emerging tops with a medal haul of four gold, three silver and a bronze.
Coming in second was the Kuala Lumpur-based Jung Fencing School, who secured a gold, two silver and three bronze medals. The school is coached by Jung Choong Hoi, who was the first Malaysian National coach.
Coincidentally, fencers from both institutions were debutants in the championship held at the Prince of Wales Island International School in Balik Pulau recently.
The good showing of the Malaysians as well as the South Korean-trained outfit dethroned Indonesia’s Binus University fencing team from the top of the overall standing.
The defending champions, despite a sparkling performance from its ‘Queen of Swords’ Inca Maya Sari, could only muster a gold and a bronze and finish third in the medal standing.
Highlight of the two-day event once again came from Inca, who continued to show her might in the Women’s Foil event.
In what was best termed as a repeat of last year’s final showdown, Penang’s top fencer Ivy Cheah Hsiao Yong had to play the role of the bridesmaid again.
The Penangite who is now training with the Malaysian backup squad, was undoubtedly better prepared for the occasion. But she failed to avenge the defeat inflicted by Inca in the final last year.
Cheah showed great determination to fight her Indonesian rival point for point, and even managed a tie at 13-13.
But Inca managed to keep her composure when it mattered most, by picking up the next two points to end the tightly contested final.
Cheah, though disappointed with the outcome, admitted that she lost to a better opponent.
“It could have been anybody’s game when we were tied at 13-all,” she said.
Over at the Indonesian camp, Inca heaved a huge sigh of relief to retain the Women’s Foil title, but expressed surprise over Cheah’s performance.
“She has improved a ton compared to when I first took her on at the same stage last year.
“She made things really difficult for me with her strong determination. But I managed to stay composed. That made the difference,” she added.
Penang Amateur Fencing Club president Datuk Dr Kenny Ong Kean Lee said he was delighted with the record turnout of 105 fencers from 17 fencing clubs. The clubs were from Indonesia, South Korea, Brunei and Malaysia.
“South Korea undoubtedly are the powerhouse in fencing in Asia. Their presence here not only reflects their acceptance of our championship on the international stage.
“It will surely serve as a good encouragement for us as a host.
“From a modest start of parading only a handful of 49 participants when the championship was inaugurated two years ago, our ability to lure 109 fencers from neighbouring countries to Penang, is indeed a great achievement,” said Ong, who is also the chairman of the Prince of Wales Island International School.
Ong said they hoped to bring in fencers from China and Vietnam, which are also fencing powerhouses.
“If we can bring them here next year, it will be a bigger boost for our championship in terms of recognition,” he said.
Boys Foil, Final: Tristan Cheng Xing Han (MSN Pelapis, Kul) bt Andy Yun Woo Kim (Jung Fencing Centre, Kul) 15-6; Joint-third: Louis Edward Arnault (Jung Fencing Centre, Kul) and Megat Mohd Aimanm Mirza (Jung Fencing Centre, Kul).
Girls Foil, Final: Julia Loh Jaselin (Jung Fencing Centre, Kul) bt Natasha Tai (Jung Fencing Centre, Kul) 15-6; Joint-third: Neoh Chia Wern (Pen) and Nicole Anggun Lestari (Binus University, Ina).
Men’s Foil, Final: Muhammad Aqil (MSN Pelapis, Kul) bt Tristan Cheng Kim Han (MSN Pelapis, Kul) 15-8; Joint-third: Kenny Cheah Wen Foong (Pen) and Wicaksana Lintang Andika (Kota Malang Fencing Team, Ina).
Men’s Epee, Final: Beom Jun Kim (Wonju Fencing Team, Korea) bt Kim Daewoong (Youngdong Fencing Team, Korea) 15-9; Joint-third: Joung Jaeung (Bulook Fencing Team, Korea) and Megat Mohd Aiman Mirza (Jung Fencing Centre, Kul).
Men’s Sabre, Final: Calvin Ong De Yang (MSN Pelapis, Kul) bt Mohamad Shafiq (MSN Pelapis, Kul) 15-13; Joint-third: Luqman Al Hakeem (SSTMI, Joh) and Mohammad Shazzwan (SSTMI, Joh).
Women’s Foil, Final: Inca Maya Sari (Binus University, Ina) bt Ivy Cheah Hsiao Yong (Pen-MSN Pelapis, Kul) 15-13; Joint-third: Anis Syaqireen (MSN Pelapis, Kul) and Himmamie Yuswa (Kota Malang Fencing Team, Ina).
Women’s Epee, Final: Aisyah Elizabeth (WRG Fencing Team, Ina)bt Chia Sin Yee (Pen) 15-12; Joint-third: Exceltria Monica Kenyo (Kota Malang Fencing Team, Ina) and Fatin Syafiqah Samsudin (MSN Pelapis, Kul).
Women’s Sabre, Final: Joanne Jalizha Chen (MSN Pelapis, Kul) bt Habibah Abidin (SSTMI, Joh) 15-6; Joint-third: Saw Sheue Ru (Pen) and Suzana Izani Abdul Wahid (SSTMI, Joh).