Although there was no celebration for winning any medal, Chinese young fencers showed their potential at the Yangzhou Women's Sabre World Cup which concluded on Sunday.
The Chinese quartet of Fu Ying, Zhang Xueqian, Yang Hengyu, Yu Xinting finished sixth out of 16 teams in the women's team sabre event. It was the first time for these girls to team up on the international stage.
This young team surprised the audience when they lost to France 34-45 in the quarterfinals. Fu Ying, the youngest one in the team, posted a remarkable comeback from 4-10 by hitting six straight points in the third round. Then Yang Hengyu gave China a 26-25 lead in the sixth round before France dominated the rest of the match.
"They gave full play to their current ability and strength," said Mao Yixun, coach of the Chinese team. "While the squad mainly consists of young players. It is important for them to learn by playing against high-quality opposition," Mao stressed.
"Fu is very combative in a game and has a good execution but it still needs to improve," he added.
Another valuable experience for Fu Ying is when she met Olympic champion Mariel Zagunis from the United States in the last 32 of the individual competition. The 19-year-old was defeated 7-15 by her idol.
"Zagunis is my idol but I had a strong desire to defeat her," Fu said. "I started enjoying watching her games when I saw her playing the Beijing Olympics on TV in 2008. I learnt a lot from her today, hope one day I can be in her position."
In this three-day tournament, France's Manon Brunet beat her teammate Sara Balzer 15-7 in the individual final and the United States edged France 45-43 in the team final.