Hong Kong’s top male fencer Cheung Ka-long has claimed gold at the Tokyo Olympic Games – after defeating the reigning Olympic champion, Daniele Garozzo of Italy, 15-11 in a nail-biting final of the men’s individual foil.
His gold is Hong Kong’s first medal in the sport, second-ever gold, and fourth Olympics medal in history.
Cheung went down 1-4 early on in the contest, before rallying and taking five straight points to go up 6-4 and pulling away to 10-5.
But the Italian fought back to defend his Olympic crown, taking Cheung to 13-11.
With a gold medal on the line, Cheung held his nerve taking the next two points to close out the final 15-11.
Speaking immediately after the final, Cheung said he was finding it difficult to believe he had actually won gold.
He said he hoped this has a positive impact on fencing in Hong Kong and shows that local fencers can win not only in Asia, but also on the world stage.
Cheung, a former junior world champion, had already made history in his run to the final by becoming Hong Kong’s first fencer to reach an Olympic semi-final.
To get there, the 24-year-old beat the top-seeded Italian Alessio Foconi, 15-3, then followed that up with a thrilling come-from-behind 15-14 victory over ROC athlete Kirill Borodachev.
Alexander Choupenitch was Cheung’s next victim – the Czech Republic fencer going down 15-10 in the semi-finals to guarantee that Hong Kong would be getting its first medal in Tokyo.
In the bronze medal bout, Choupenitch defeated Japan’s Takahiro Shikine 15-8.
Hong Kong fencer Cheung Ka-long wins gold in Tokyo
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