PETALING JAYA: Hans Yoong (pic) showed he is the future of Malaysian fencing after coming so close to booking a spot for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The 20-year-old, who is based in the United States, made the men’s individual foil final in the Olympics qualifiers for Asia and Oceania in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, yesterday.
China’s Huang Mengkai, the Asian Games reigning champion and ranked 57th in the world, proved too strong as he beat the young Malaysian 15-4 in the final to take the only ticket at stake.
It was nevertheless an impressive run by Hans to take silver in what is also his first experience competing in the Olympics qualifier.
The world No. 359th won four out of six matches in the pool to qualify second from his group for the elimination last 16.
Hans, who studies at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and a silver medallist at the 2019 Philippines SEA Games, defeated Owaida Ali of Qatar 15-10 to reach the last eight.
He advanced to the last four with a 15-13 win over second seed Douglas Sholto of Australia and then beat Vietnamese Nguyen Minh Quang 15-10 to reach the final.
On Sunday, Joshua Koh’s campaign in the men’s epee category came to an end after going down 15-9 to Iranian Mohammad Rezaei in the last 16.
The former SEA Games gold medallist had earlier qualified for the knockout round after winning three of his five matches in the pool stage.
Kyrgyzstan’s Roman Petrov emerged victorious after downing Vietnam’s Nguyen Tien Nhat 15-8 in the final.