Salem Radio Network News Saturday, September 18, 2021


Olympics-Fencing-South Korea tops China to reach women’s team epee final

By Sakura Murakami

CHIBA (Reuters) -South Korea trounced China in the women’s team epee fencing event on Tuesday, robbing the world number one of an opportunity to claim a gold or silver medal.

With strong individual fencers including Sun Yiwen, who won gold for the individual epee event just three days ago, the Chinese team, which had taken gold in the 2012 London Olympics and silver in the 2016 Rio Games, was a strong medal contender.

Early in her match, Sun sought medical help for her upper left thigh. She returned, walking slowly back into position to finish her bout with South Korean Choi Injeong, ranked second in the world, but complained of injury again in her next turn and limped out of the venue, supported by her coach as alternate Xu Anqi replaced her.

For the last bout, Choi took calculated jabs at her opponent Zhu Mingye, even as Zhu edged forward to put pressure on Choi. Choi finished the match with a 38-29 win.

Even before the bout was over, Choi’s team mates jumped and screamed for joy on the sidelines, running out at the end to embrace her.

“We had quite a lot of matches against China before and we lost most of the games. We really concentrated on training against China and also the teamwork,” South Korean fencer Kang Young Mi said after the match.

“That’s how we got to win,” she added.

South Korea will be up against Estonia in the finals.

Although ranked seventh in the world, Estonia has a strong selection of fencers including Katrina Lehis, who already has a bronze medal under her belt at the Games.

They have beaten Poland, ranked second in team rankings, and Italy, ranked sixth, to advance to the gold medal bout.

Whichever medal they win, Estonia will be happy, as it will be their second in the country’s history of fencing, after Lehis’s bronze on Saturday.

(Reporting by Sakura Murakami; Editing by Karishma Singh)


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