NANJING, China, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Silver medalists from Asia avenged their gold medal opponents from the individual fencing events by uniting into one, strong family in the mixed continental team competition at the Youth Olympic Games.
A team made up of fencers from Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong, China captured the gold in a 30-26 match against their European opponents from Hungary, Poland, Russia and Italy, including four gold medalists from the individual events. The Asia group included three silver medalists, two of which had to face their gold medal rivals in the team final.
"It felt fantastic to play with teammates from other countries," said Choi Chun Yin Ryan of Hong Kong, China, after his successful bout against Andrzej Rzadkowski of Poland, the gold medalist in men's foil. "I was excited, but I did feel pressure because I had no idea how they would play."
The mixed continental team event is made up of six fencers, three men and three women, each fighting with their own type of weapon. In contrast to the team event that is featured at the Olympic Games, the Youth Olympic Games brought together fencers from different countries and regions based on their individual event rankings.
The Asia team was trailing 4-1 after the men's epee and women's foil bouts, but Kim Dongju of South Korea was determined to seek revenge on Ivan Ilin of Russia, who took the gold medal in men's sabre, and registered 14 touches to Ilin's 10 to give the Asia team a 15-14 lead.
Choi, who lost the gold medal in a close 15-13 bout the night before, came back strong and raised the score to 25-21 with his seven touches.
"I felt like I took my revenge," Choi said. "Actually I thought I might be better than him (in the individual event) but I failed to grasp the chance yesterday. Today's result proved that I can beat him and I am capable of being a champion."
Choi's efforts gave fourth place finisher Misaki Emura of Japan the perfect platform to challenge gold medalist Alina Moseyko of Russia. Emura ended yesterday's event in tears, but there were no tears in the team event as she matched Moseyko's five touches and led her team to the total 30 points they needed to win.
"I could have performed better," Moseyko said. "It's harder to fight for the team. The responsibility is so great. Usually you just worry about yourself, but here you need to support the whole team and chase the opponent on their behalf."
The team from Asia cheered along with the spectators for Emura's performance. The fencer saved her team in the semifinal match with the second team from Europe when the score was 29-30. Her opponent was the silver medalist in women's sabre, Chiara Crovari of Italy.
Crovariu's European team went on to win the bronze in a match with an Asian team, which included the two bronze medalists from China.
"Yesterday I won a silver and today I won a bronze so I am really, really happy. It's incredible," said Crovari. She was the last fencer to fight in the bronze medal match and gave her team to the 30-25 score against in a bout with Jeon Eunhye of South Korea.