Article by: Doug Gallant
Based around the traditional skills of swordsmanship, fencing is a sport with deep history. It has been on the Canada Games program multiple times, taking place from 1995 until 2003, with an appearance in 2013, and has now returned to the program for the PEI 2023 Games.
Fencing made its first appearance on Tuesday, where Team Alberta’s Leon Wujastyk captured the first gold medal for male fencing at the 2023 Canada Winter Games in Prince Edward Island.
Wujastyk earned gold by defeating Adrian Wong of Team B.C. in the mail foil individual round of competition. Spencer Orr of Team Ontario and Mingxuan Shen of Team Quebec tied for the bronze.
Speaking to Wujastyk after his win, his supporters certainly made their presence felt Tuesday, cheering loudly for every point he earned against his competition. “I do this quite a lot and I‘ve had people supporting me all the way through.”
Wujastyk said he’s now looking forward to the team competition on Friday.
“Personally I think I’ll do good and I hope the same for my team. They still have individual events and then it’s the team event and I hope to do just as good with them.”
In the meantime, Wujastyk said he plans to get out there and help his other teammates warm up and get them in the right mood for their competition. “I’m going to cheer as loud for them as I can.”
On the same day, Elaine Hong of Team Ontario captured gold in the female épée individual event.
Hong defeated Cheryl Cheung of Team Manitoba who took home the silver medal.
Once again there was a tie for the bronze medal with Veronica Scherk of Team BC and Claire Han of Team New Brunswick sharing that honour.
Hong indicated following her win that she didn’t really have strong feelings about it. “It’s a regular day and I did my best. I just focus on each touch and try not to think about anything else.”
Hong has a team event on the weekend. Between now and then she hopes to get a little bit of rest and enjoy her time at the Games.
Fencing resumes at the Games Wednesday with competition in the female foil and male sabre events. Female sabre and male épée will take place on Thursday. The team events takes place on Friday.