GEORGE TOWN: FENCING is gaining momentum in the country and the sport is being aggressively promoted by the Penang Amateur Fencing Association.
In the recently concluded Penang POWIIS Junior Championships, the event attracted 105 contenders from 17 fencing clubs from Brunei, Korea, Indonesia and locally.
Penang Amateur Fencing Association (PAFA) president Datuk Dr Kenny Ong Kean Lee said when they first hosted the championships in 2012, they had only 49 fencers from five clubs.
“It is nice to note that Korea and Brunei are participating for the first time, apart from Indonesia who have been coming from the first championship.
“We had also invited Hong Kong but they were unable to come due to their domestic league.
“Korea is among the top fencing countries in Asia besides China and Vietnam. We sincerely hope China, Vietnam and Hong Kong would be able to participate next year,” said Kean Lee.
The former national fencer thanked the National Sports Council for sending a strong team and Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School for participating for the first time.
Kean Lee, the Prince of Wales Island International School chairman, said this year the organising committee included the Boys’ and Girls’ Foil, which increased the competition to eight categories, and they may have more events for the juniors next year.
State Youth and Sports, Women, Family and Community Development Committee chairman Chong Eng, who was impressed with the large foreign participation, urged local fencers to make use of the opportunity to gain good sparring experience.
She said with the strong participation, they need not go overseas often to gain experience, since fencing is gaining momentum in the state. She hopes that Penang exponents would prepare well for next year’s Malaysia Games.
Present at the competition were state sports council director Frederick Tan Teck An, state National Sports Institute's Cheah Boon Chong and PAFA secretary Lim Peng Jin.
The event was hosted by PAFA at the Prince of Wales Island International School in Balik Pulau for the third consecutive year.
Meanwhile, the Women’s Foil contest saw an exciting repeat of last year's final between local heroine Ivy Cheah Hsiao Yong and Indonesia's glamour girl Inca Maya Sari.
Last year Hsiao Yong was thrashed the Indonesian 15-6, but this year the Penangite, who has much exposure, including overseas competitions with the NSC Pelapis team, was confident of overcoming her best friend and arch rival.
It was a close competition and both exponents were tied at 13-13 and with a swing of her sword, Inca increased her lead to 14-13 with one more hit to win, but Hsiao Yong regained her composure and fought back but a slight mistake gave victory to Inca at 15-13.
Inca said she was surprised with Hsiao Yong’s performance as she has improved by leaps and bounds. The Indonesian admitted she was worried of losing, but built up her courage and remained calm.
RESULTS - Boys’ Foil final: Tristan Cheng Xing Han (Pelapis KL) bt Andy Yun Woo Kim (Jung FC, KL) 15-6.
Joint 3rd: Louis Edward Arnault (Jung FC, KL) and Megat Mohd Aimanm Mirza (Jung FC, KL).
Men’s foil final: Muhammad Aqil Anuar (Pelapis KL) bt Tristan Cheng Xing Han (Pelapis KL) 15-9.
Joint 3rd: Kenny Cheah Wen Foong (Pg Team) and Wicaksana Lintang Andika (Kota Malang FT, Ina).
Epee final: Beom Jun Kim (Wonju FT, Korea) bt Kim Daewoong (Youngdong FT, Korea) 15-9
Joint 3rd: Joung Jaeung (Bulook FT, Korea) and Megat Muhammad Aiman Mirza Riza makhzan (Jung FC, KL).
Sabre final: Calvin Ong De Yang (Pelapis KL) bt Mohamad Shafiq Rizal (Pelapis KL) 15/13
Joint 3rd: Luqman Al Hakeem Alauddin (SSTMI, Joh) and Mohammad Shazzwan Md Saffian (SSTMI, Joh).
Girls’ foil final: Julia Loh Jaselin (Jung FC, KL) bt Natasha Tai (Jung FC, KL) 15-6.
Joint 3rd: Neoh Chia Wern (Pg Fencing Team) and Nicole Anggun Lestari Binus (University Ina)
Women’s foil final: Inca Maya Sari (Binus University, Ina) bt Ivy Cheah Hsiao Yong (Pg Team/Pelapis KL) 15/13.
Joint 3rd: Anis Syaqireen Jamaludin (Pelapis KL) and Himmamie Yuswa (Kota Malang FT, Ina)
Epee final: Aisyah Elizabeth (WRG FT, Ina) bt Chia Sin Yee (Pg Team) 15/12.
Joint 3rd: Exceltria Monica Kenyo (Kota Malang FT, Ina) and Fatin Syafiqah Samsudin (Pelapis KL)..
Sabre final: Joanne Jalizha Chen (Pelapis KL) bt Habibah Abidin (SSTMI, Joh) 15/6.
Joint 3rd: Saw Sheue Ru (Pg Team) and Suzana Izani Abdul Wahid (SSTMI, Joh).