The Star Malaysia
Fencer hans has big dreams
PETALING JAYA: Teenager Hans Yoong dreams of becoming a world-class fencer.
The 15-year-old Hans, who competes in the foil category, has already been showcasing his potential of late.
He won a silver in the cadet category (Under17) of the Singapore CadetWorld Cup in January – his first international competition this year.
Hans beat Japan’s Hikaru Yamashita in the quarter-finals and Singapore’s Darren Tan in the semi-finals before losing 12-15 to Singapore’s top junior fencer Ryan Ong in the final.
Hans, who trains under five-time SEA Games gold medallist Nontapat Panchan, hopes to keep the momentum going when he competes in the Asian Junior and Cadet Fencing Championships in Bahrain from Feb 20-29.
“One of my main goals is to win a gold medal at the SEA Games next year and do well at the Asian and World Junior Championships this year,” he said. “I think I’m on the right track. I’m pretty happy with my recent results, especially at the President’s Cup ... that was my first-ever senior title.”
At the President’s Cup here last December, Hans capped an impressive feat by winning all three events – Cadet, Junior (Under-20) and Open.
The win in the Open category was even more remarkable as he defeated national senior fencer Megat Zuhril Zariman 15-6 in the semi-finals before beating Bryan Cheong for the title.
“It would also be a dream to one day compete in the Olympics ... hopefully in 2020, though I know I’ll need to show a lot more improvement first,” said Hans
“I think I’ve improved quite a bit since I began training with Nontapat three years ago. He pushes me very hard in training and that also drives me to work even harder.”
The 34-year-old Nontapat, who also competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, has tipped Hans to push on to greater heights.
“Hans has the potential to be a world class fencer. He has won his first senior title, but he can still improve,” said Nontapat.