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Female Teacher Leads Chinese Hong Kong to First fencing Medal in Busan
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Ho Ka Lai, a charming female teacher, swept incredible 17 points in the last set over her Kazakh rival, awarding the first fencing medal, a bronze, in the women's epee team event to Hong Kong, China, in the 14th Asian Games here Friday afternoon.

When the scoreboards showed 39-29 in Hong Kong's advantage and the regular time was up, Ho, 33, threw her mask and epee into the air, rushing towards her teammates and screaming, hugging with them tightly. Tears were streaming down her pretty face.

Ho, an amateur epee fencer who came the runner-up twice at the 1997 and 1998 Asian fencing championships, routed Kazakh ace fencer Natalya Goncharova who ousted her in the individual event three days ago.

"I feel so great as I took the revenge and help my team get a medal," Ho said.

"I paid much attention to Goncharova in her games and think more about how to beat her, and they were all paid off today," Ho said in a bit excitement.

"I changed my tactics from aiming at her upper part to targeting her body and arms with tricky thrusts to her head, and the tactics worked," she explained.

Starting fencing training in 1986, Ho practiced really hard. But she still feels thirsty for more training time to improve her fencing kill.

"I am a middle school teacher, teaching mathematics and naturalscience," she said, adding, "I must spend enough time on my students as I love them very much."

"I have two younger sisters and a younger brother, and I often spend much time with them, which also brings me a lot of joy," she added.

Taking almost all her spare time for fencing training, Ho began to represent Chinese Hong Kong to attend the international competitions in 1991.

"The first international match I took part in was the Asian fencing championships," she said. "Although I have made some achievements in fencing, I am not a world-class fencer who really needs more time in high-level training."

"Fortunately, my parents fully support me in the training and always call me whenever I take part in competitions. Now, I must buy a great many of souvenirs in Busan for them and for my friends," she said with tears and sweats still on her face.

In the evening, Ho, with waterfall-like hair and proper makeup on her face, stood on the podium and raised her medal, smiling softly.

(People's Daily October 5, 2002)

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