TAKING up fencing as a retiree after a 51-year break gap from competing with a sword at university will allow Nedlands resident Robert Wong (76) to compete at the 2nd Asian Masters Fencing Championships at the Claremont Showground on Thursday25.8.
“It was like a new sport to mew when I restarted because the rules changed in 1987, and if I did what I did back then with a sabre at Melbourne University I would get a yellow card now,” Mr Wong said.
The former cardiac anaesthetist, who did WA’s first heart transplant, and 71-year-old Murdoch resident Gary SudranOK are members of fencing’s Excalibur Club in South Fremantle.
Mr Wong said that despite a dislocated arm in his first year back in the sport, he was participating again this year.
“If you want to do it you have to do extra exercise,” he said.
The five-day Asia Masters Championships, comprising the three disciplines of foil, epee and sabre swords, is being held in Australia for the first time.“Fencing WA won the right to host the competition after it was recognised we had in largest number of masters-aged fencers in WA,” Fencing WA president Ben Peden said.
Fencing is one of only four competitions that have been in every modern Olympic Games since 1896.
The foil division scores points when the tip of the sword hits the torso of an opponent, the whole body is a target in epee, while the blade is used by sabre fencers.
Mr Peden said competing with swords remained relevant in the 21st century because of the speed, agility and both mental and physical fitness that was needed, and the sport used modern materials to electronically score the hits and slashes on opponents’ protective clothing.
The Australian Under-23 Sabre and Australian Club Team Championships, and the Australian Fencing Circuit national fencing tournament, will follow the Masters at the Showgrounds.
D458398 Robert Wong and Gary Sudran join Asia’s and Australia’s swordsmen and women at the Asian Masters Fencing Championships at Claremont Showgrounds.