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YOUTH AND UNIVERSALITY PREVAILED IN OLYMPIC QUALIFIERS

Ten fencers from Asia and Oceania prevailed in the Olympic Qualifiers held in Wuxi China on April 11 and 12, 2016 to earn their slots to the upcoming Rio Olympic Games in Brazil.

Junior fencer CHEUNG Ka Long topped the Men's Foil event earning his ticket to Rio following his gold medal finish in the World Juniors Championships in Bourges France just a week before. He later won the Men's Individual Foil event of the Asian Fencing Championships held on April 13 also in the same venue in Wuxi, in what turned out to be a extraordinary achievement for this young fencer.

Abdulaziz AL SHATTI playing under the FIE flag because of the suspension of his Kuwait federation and NOC by the International Olympic Committee bested all competitors in the Men's Epee event. This particular situation highlights the principle promoted by the IOC and the FIE that athletes are insulated from any political differences that their organisation might have.

Foilist YUAN PING of New Zealand earned the only slot for Oceania thus ensuring the universality of fencing where all five continents are now represented in the Rio Olympic Games.

Vietnam which joined international fencing body only in the late 1990's was most successful with three of its fencers qualifying to the Rio Games. They are NGUYEN Thi Le Dung in Women's Saber, NGUYEN Thi Nhu Hoa in Women's Epee and VU Thanh An in Men's Saber.

MOKRETCOV Ilya of Kazakhstan qualified in Men's Saber thus representing the five former Soviet republics that are now part of Asia.

Japanese fencers NISHIOKA Shiho and TOKUNAN Kenta qualified in Women's Foil and Men's Saber respectively, thus completing the Japanese representation in all six weapons that will be played in Rio.