Fencer Choi In-jung (33-Gyeryong City Hall) won her first gold medal at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games by topping the women’s epee individual competition.
Choi defeated teammate Song Se-ra (30, Busan Metropolitan Government) 9-8 in overtime in the final of the women’s epee event on Thursday at the Hangzhou Electronics University Gymnasium in Hangzhou, China.
Choi, who won bronze in the individual event and silver in the team event at the 2014 Incheon and 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Games, won her first Asian Games gold medal after a “two-for-three” season.
Song Sera, on the other hand, had to settle for silver after reaching the final in her first ever Asian Games.
For Korean fencing, which has struggled on the international stage in recent years, the women’s epee medal was a welcome rebound.
After defeating Kiria Abdul Rahman (SINGAPORE) in the round of 16 and Pischova Uliyana (KAZ) in the quarterfinals, Choi reached her first individual final with a 15-12 victory over Murzatayeva Dilnaz (UZBEKISTAN) in the semifinals.
Song Sera, the highest-ranked Asian player in the world, defeated Vivian Kong (Hong Kong – No. 2) 15-11 in the semifinals to set up a “family feud” with Choi for the gold medal.
It was the first time in 21 years since Kim Hee-jung (gold) and Hyun-hee Hyun (silver) won the Asian Games women’s individual epee final at Busan in 2002 that a South Korean athlete has won a gold medal.
The entire match was so close that the gap between the two was never more than one point. The score was 2-2 at the end of the first game and 5-5 at the end of the second round.
To start the third game, Choi In-jung scored the first point to take the lead before the two players traded blows in quick succession.
After Song tied the game at 8-8 with 1:30 left, the third game went into overtime just like that.
Fifteen seconds into the one-minute overtime round, Choi In-jung scored the first point of the match with a targeted poke to the arm of Song Se-ra, and the ‘big sister’ ended up taking the victory.
Song, who swept the individual and team events at last year’s World Championships and is expected to be a gold medal favorite, will team up with Choi In-jung in the team event on Sunday.
Earlier in the day, Lee Kwang-hyun (Hwaseong City Hall) was the best performer in the men’s individual flechette event, reaching the quarterfinals. It has been 45 years since South Korea has won no medals in the men’s foil event since the 1978 Bangkok Games.
After a solid start to the first day of the Asian Games with a gold and a silver, Korean fencers will look to add to their medal tally in the men’s sabre and women’s foil events on Friday, with Koo Bon-gil (National Sports Promotion Organization) looking to win his fourth straight individual title. 파워볼게임