PETALING JAYA: National fencer Hans Yoong had the wrong mindset in his bid for a ticket to the Olympics in Japan.
The 20-year-old had already surprised many by reaching the men’s individual foil final in the Olympics qualifiers for Asia and Oceania in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on Monday.
China’s Huang Mengkai, the Asian Games reigning champion, proved too strong in the final sweeping aside Hans 15-4 to grab the only ticket at stake to the Games.
It was, nevertheless, a good learning experience for Hans.
“After winning my semi-finals, I realised that the Olympic spot was within my grasp. I just needed to pull off one more victory. Unfortunately, I went into the final with a mindset of ‘I must win this and get that spot’ instead of ‘this is just another final and I will have fun’.
“Huang outclassed me and eventually gained a large lead in points. That’s when I became desperate and fell to my opponent’s more superior style.”
Hans, who studies at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and was the silver medallist at the 2019 Philippines SEA Games, said he would look to better himself in the future by taking part in more collegiate meets.
“Overall, I would say I am super disappointed with myself that I didn’t put up a better fight in the final and that I missed out on an Olympic spot.
“On a positive note, I think it’s safe to say I gave my all and this was a tremendous learning experience.”