Smells like team spirit as Asia-Oceania win fencing's final gold
A sense of togetherness won the day as fencing came to a close with the mixed continental team event at Nanjing 2014.
Team Asia-Oceania 1 picked up the sport’s final gold medal, beating Team Europe 1 – composed of six current cadet world champions – by a scoreline of 30-26.
As a result, Lee Sinhee (KOR) became the only fencer to take home two gold medals from the Games, in epee and the mixed continental team event.
For two individual silver medallists, the team event brought an element of revenge, as Kim Dongjiu (KOR) surprisingly beat individual gold medallist Ivan Ilin (RUS) in the men's sabre and Choi Chun Yin Ryan (HKG) defeated Andrzej Rzadkowski (POL), a day after losing to him in the individual foil gold medal match.
“I told Kim that I would do the defence and he would do the attack,” said Choi. “It's exciting to play with the other athletes in one team. But it also builds up a lot of pressure.
“I think I'm more powerful than my opponent Rzadkowski, but I did not do well and hence I got silver [in the individual event]. Today proves I'm better than him.
“My opponent won both the cadet world champs and the gold yesterday, so this medal gives me encouragement.”
Choi’s team-mate Chien Kei Hsu Albert (HKG) said: “Ryan did a great job. He's the star. I just did what I was supposed to do.The objective of this event is much more than the gold. To do well you need to make friends with the athletes who are otherwise your competitors.”
The fourth-placed fencer in the women's individual sabre, Misaki Emura (JPN), tied 5-5 with Alina Moseyko (RUS) to ensure victory for Team Asia-Oceania 1.
“Their team was very strong, they're all world champions, but we were much bonded all together,” Emura said. “That was our strength today.” Emura’s team-mate Karin Miyawaki added: “The team event is cool because I know that if I don't get the point, or if I don't do well, one of my teammates is going to get the point.
“You can count on somebody else. And it's cool also because this competition is based on linking with other countries, breaking the boundaries between us. It's good for the Youth Olympic Games.”