BEIJING, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- Luan Jujie, who won the only fencing gold medal for China in 1984, was eliminated in the round of 32 bouts, in her comeback on Monday to the Olympic stage 24 years after her crowning in Los Angeles Games.
Luan, representing Canada at the age of 50, was defeated by Hungarian Mohamed Aida, who is 18 years younger, in the women's foil individual, at 15-7.
"I feel great today!" Luan said at the press conference after the match. "I left China 20 years ago, I am so happy that many Chinese people still remember me," she said.
"It does not matter how I finished the match, what really matters is I am still on the piste, and I want to show that I am still young. I was not doing too bad today."
Luan said she was pretty relaxed in the match. "I rarely got nervous in big events. Yesterday evening, my husband and I went shopping, and I was pretty much at ease fighting two bouts. I have reached my goal, that is to win one bout. I enjoyed the process," she told reporters.
Being a mother of three, she said, "I am so grateful to my husband, who took care of the three kids when I was busy preparing for the games. I should also express my thanks to the Chinese people who offer me staunch support."
Her husband praised her performance as wonderful beside her.
Luan disclosed that she would start up a fencing school in Shanghai after the Games, to train more young fencers in China. "I will move around between Canada and China in the rest of my life, since I spent my first 30 years in China, and devoted my later 20 years in Canada. From now on, my time will be divided by half and half, to both countries I love."
Commenting on the performance of Chinese fencers at the Games, Luan said they did not give their full play probably because of too much pressure. "I really expect one day Chinese fencers could recoup the Olympic gold medal."