Edgar Cheung Ka-long of Hong Kong, who won the men’s individual foil event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, has a champion’s mentality, according to the man he defeated in the final.
D. Garozzo Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
Defeating three-time world champion and Rio 2016 gold medalist D. Garozzo, Cheung became the first person of colour to win an Olympic gold medal in fencing for Hong Kong. Cheung was outstanding. In the biggest match of his career, he fenced brilliantly.
The 28-year-old D. Garozzo told the Post, “That mentality is for champions.” The Italian is currently ranked third in the world, one spot higher than the Hong Konger, who rose from nineteenth to fourth after his historic win.
D. Garozzo stated that Cheung’s class extended off the piste, telling how Cheung was criticised by “wild fans” for picking up the wrong-colored toy doll when speaking with International Fencing Federation secretary general Emmanouil Katsiadakis at the ceremony. As soon as they did, the medalists began trading dolls with one another.
Absolutely, he is [an admirable example for Hong Kong]. To cut a long story short, he’s a good man with mad fencing skills. When I accidentally took his gold doll in the final, I got a lot of hate on social media. He emailed me expressing his deep regret for the incident. Yes, it was very helpful, thank you.
Last time they competed against each other was in 2017 in a World Cup tournament in St. Petersburg, where the eventual winner, Olympic champion D. Garozzo, defeated him in the semi-finals. D. Garozzo ended up taking home the gold, but Hong Kong’s Cheung brought home the fencing world’s first bronze medal.
The 1.93m Cheung claimed after the competition, “this competition included all the top fencers from Europe,” thus he “didn’t feel very big.” But he has improved tremendously since then.
We can see a significant change in him. D. Garozzo said, “He is still young, but at that time he was very young,” referencing Hong Kong fencing master Greg Koenig. I also think his coach has done a fantastic job with him. Koenig bred a talented fencing crew, not just Ka-long.
Although D. Garozzo is still widely regarded as a formidable foil opponent, he is likely focusing on finishing his undergraduate degree at the expense of his fencing.
It’s unfortunate [to miss out on gold]. However, at the time, I was pleased with my accomplishments throughout those years. “I gave it my all, and that’s all that really matters to me,” he remarked.
“[About the future,] I have no idea. In March, I will have finished all the requirements to earn my medical doctorate. Well, I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what happens.