THE mind was willing but the flesh was weak as fencer Yu Peng Sean submitted to exhaustion and bowed out of the London Olympics at the ExCel Arena yesterday.
Peng Sean defied expectations by making the second round of the men's sabre but advancing took its toll on him as he was a spent force against World No 5 Aron Szilagyi of Hungary, an opponent who the Malaysian described as amazing.
"I went all out in the first round (against Egyptian Zeid Mannad) as I was determined to make an impact," said Peng Sean.
His determination paid off as he outpointed Mannad 15-12 to set up a dream clash with one of the world's top fencers.
"I really over-exerted myself in the first round and that led to my knee injury flaring up again. In fact, I had to take painkillers before facing Szilagyi and my movement was also hampered," added Peng Sean.
If that was not bad enough, Peng Sean said Szilagyi proved why he is ranked World No 5 with a classy performance.
"He is really strong and there was not much I could do as he was a much better fencer," said the Malaysian, who lost 15-1.
The only time Peng Sean was in the match was when it started with both tied at 1-1 but Szilagyi then turned on his class and never looked back.
It had been the opposite in the first round against Mannad for despite the narrow margin of victory, World No 37 Peng Sean was in total control.
Although the Egyptian -- at World No 28 -- was the higher ranked, Peng Sean produced a great performance to score a memorable victory. He won the first set 8-4 and was leading 10-4 in the second when Mannad needed medical attention after twisting his knee.
Mannad recovered but Peng Sean turned on the pressure to seal the win.
National coach Rao Bin said he could not fault Peng Sean for his performance.