PETALING JAYA: Teenage fencer Hans Yoong is all set to make a strong debut at the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games from Aug 19-30.
The 16-year-old foil specialist enjoyed two successful outings in the Asian Cadet Circuit (ACC), a tournament introduced by the Fencing Confederation of Asia (FCA) last month.
In the inaugural leg in Pasig City, the Philippines, from July 8-9, Hans finished with a silver after losing 13-15 to homester Lawrence Tan in the final.
Undeterred, national foil champion Hans bounced back to bag the gold in the second leg in Singapore from July 28-30. He outclassed Singapore’s Kieran Lock 15-5 in the final.
Now, Hans is hoping the recent string of commendable results will spur him on for glory against the more established fencers from Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore at the Aug 19-30 Games.
Said Hans: “I’m pleased with my recent string of results. I started well in the Philippines but I just wasn’t consistent enough.
“I had a slow start in Singapore but I finished strongly. Now, I’m really motivated for the Games.
“I’ve been training really hard for the last few months. I hope to finish with a medal.
“It will be tough because the other fencers are older and more experienced. A lot of them are also based overseas but I believe anything is possible on match day.”
Hans does have an advantage as he has a top-notch coach in Thai Nontapat Panchan, a five-time SEA Games gold medallist in foil.
Nontapat retired from the sport after emerging triumphant in Singapore two years ago.
“Nontapat always tells me to relax and enjoy my duels. That’s what I plan to do,” said Hans.
Besides Hans, the other Malaysian foil fencer at the Games is Tristan Cheng. The two women foil fencers are Natasha Ezzra Abu Bakar and Tyanne Fong.