Japanese favourite shows magic touch
Yuka Ueno overpowers her Italian opponent Martina Favaretto to wrap up foil title at the Africa Pavilion.
Japanese foil fencer Yuka Ueno had a plan to win gold at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games and she executed it perfectly at the Africa Pavilion on Sunday.
The 16-year-old took the first fencing gold medal on offer at the Games by defeating Martina Favaretto (ITA) 15-12.
Ueno had set her sights on gold long before arriving in Argentina, after topping the cadet (under-17) and junior (under-20) age groups at the Junior World Fencing Championships in April.
“I was really prepared for this and I felt sure of myself for most of the competition,” she said.
Favaretto stayed within one point of Ueno for most of their fast-scoring bout before her opponent made three consecutive touches to clinch victory.
“It was a really hard bout for me. She was a really tough opponent,” Favaretto said. “Towards the end my emotions took over and it was hard to keep going.”
Bronze went to May Tieu (USA), who managed to fend off Anabella Acurero Gonzalez (VEN) for 49 seconds into a minute of overtime, when the pair were tied 7-7, before making the winning touch.
“One minute of overtime can be a really long time, even though it can also feel really short,” the 17-year-old said. “The trick is to really pace your minute.”
Tieu is now looking forward to being a Games spectator and cheering on the USA team.
“I skipped out on the Opening Ceremony because of competition, so I’m really excited to get the rest of the Youth Olympics to enjoy,” she said.
While Tieu was able to take home a fencing medal, USA sabre fencer and cadet world No.2 Robert Vidovszky was unable to turn around a shock elimination from gold medal contention and finished in fourth place.
Egypt’s Mazen Elaraby defeated Vidovszky 15-10 to win bronze, after earlier overcoming higher-ranked Samuel Jarry (FRA) in the quarterfinals. “I don’t know how I did it,” said Elaraby, 17.
Hungary’s Krisztian Rabb won gold by defeating Jun Hyun (KOR) 15-13 in a bout that lasted 30 seconds. “I had a great day, and now I’m going to celebrate,” Rabb said.