China stayed on the track to regain its status as the No. 1
fencing power in Asia after its fencers pocketed both men's team
foil and women's team sabre golds by defeating their South Korean
competitors at the 15th Asian Games on Tuesday.
After Tuesday's victory, China led the fencing gold tally with
five golds, leaving South Korea, the No. 1 fencing gold winner at
Busan in 2002, trailing with two golds.
In the women's team sabre game, China defeated South Korea
45-38, with Zhao Yuanyuan, winner of the individual sabre silver
medal in Doha, twice winning by huge margins to help her team claim
Kim Keun Hwa of South Korea sabred to a 5-4 lead against Zhao
after the first bout. But Tan Xue, the highest ranking player in
the Chinese team and gold winner of individual sabre in Doha,
outclassed her South Korean opponent to end the second bout with
The South Korean player launched a strong fight back in the
third session and came from behind to lead 15-12. But China soon
imposed their superiority and moved ahead after Zhao comfortably
beat Jang Hyun Kyung 8-2 to put the Chinese 20-17.
The Chinese girls maintained their lead until the penultimate
duel when Zhao beat Lee Shin Mi 5-1. In the last bout, though Kim
Keun Hwa scored consecutive hits with intensified attacks, Tan
Xuesealed the game 45-38.
"We used the right tactics to beat the South Koreans," said Zhao
after the match. "I didn't fight in the last bout, but I think
winning the second to last bout and leaving a good lead for Tan Xue
was very important," Zhao stated.
"I am really happy to see my girls fence well tactically today,"
said China coach Christian Bauer. "South Korea begins slow and
China tend to start fast. Today we got it right," said the
China won another gold in a gripping men's team foil, beating
South Korea in the very last bout. In the first four bouts, it
wasnip and tuck but China always had the lead over South Korea. Wu
Hanxiong and Zhu Jun of China won matches six and seven after the
fifth bout was cancelled.
China went into the penultimate match between Wu Hanxiong and Ha
Chang Duk with a five point advantage, but Ha fought back winning
the match by exactly five points to end the bout in a 22-22
In the final bout, Lei Sheng and Choi Byung Chul had a fierce
duel, with the lead changing hands several times. But Lei
overcamethe pressure and took advantage of his opponent's disparate
attacks sealing the game 34-29.
"I was very nervous, but I could not afford to think of
winningor losing. He was attacking fast, so I tried to go on the
defence and then counter-attack. I think in the final 20 or 30
seconds he became desperate," said Lei.
There are four golds remaining for grabs in the following
(Xinhua News Agency December 13, 2006)