Fencing Oh Sang-wook Stabs Gold Medal in First Asian Games

Fencing men’s sabre star Oh Sang-wook won his first individual gold medal by preventing national team senior Koo Bon-gil from winning his fourth consecutive Asian Games title.

Oh Sang-wook won the men’s sabre individual fencing final at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games held at Hangzhou Electronics University Gymnasium in China on the 25th, defeating Koo Bon-gil 15-7.

Oh Sang-wook, who won the silver medal by losing 14-15 to Koo Bon-gil in the final at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Games, his debut stage at the Asian Games, won his first individual gold medal at the Asian Games by winning the final return match in five years.

In fencing, the sabre can only attack the upper body, including the head and both arms, and it is a sport that can be stabbed and cut.

Oh defeated Adel Almutairi of Saudi Arabia 15-6 in the round of 16 and Moussa Aimuratov of Uzbekistan 15-11 in the quarterfinals. In the semi-finals, they also reached the final without a major crisis, beating Mohammad Rakhbari of Iran 15-11.

Koo Bon-gil, on the other hand, beat Nazarbai Satarkan (Kazakhstan) 15-6 in the round of 16, but lost the flow due to the referee’s dubious decision in the quarterfinals against host China’s Shenzhen Feng and was on the brink of 10-14.

However, Koo Bon-gil reached the final after a miraculous come-from-behind victory with five consecutive points from this point on.

The final between Korean players was a close game until the middle of the game. If Oh Sang-wook scored first, Koo Bon-gil immediately caught up and fought back, and Oh Sang-wook led 8-7 to finish the first round.

Oh Sang-wook, who gained confidence, secured the victory in the second round by scoring seven points down with a one-beat fast attack with a tall height.

Oh Sang-wook’s next goal is the Paris Olympics

With this, Oh Sang-wook won his first individual gold medal at the Asian Games, completely dispelling the regret of five years ago.

He has once ranked No. 1 in the world rankings, but Oh Sang-wook has not yet won the individual gold medal in the Olympics. At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, he also won the men’s sabre team gold medal, but the individual event did not exceed the quarterfinals.

Oh Sang-wook, who successfully returned after winning the individual gold medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games, is expected to gain confidence ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics, although he suffered a crisis in his career after undergoing ankle ligament surgery in November last year.

On the other hand, Koo Bon-gil, who aimed for the fourth consecutive individual gold medal in the Asian Games for the first time in Asian Games history following the 2010 Guangzhou, 2014 Incheon, and 2018 Jakarta and Palembang competitions, reached the final and was on the verge of a milestone, but gave way to his junior Oh Sang-wook.

However, Oh Sang-wook and Koo Bon-gil, along with Kim Jung-hwan and Kim Joon-ho, will challenge for the Sabres team gold medal as they did at the Tokyo Olympics two years ago. If successful, it will achieve its third consecutive Asian Games victory.

South Korea shared gold and silver medals in the women’s epee individual competition the previous day, and the gold and silver medals in the men’s sabre individual competition and Hong Se-na added bronze medals in the women’s individual foil competition.


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