NANJING, June 15 (Xinhua) -- As the only Chinese male fencer qualified for the foil event at Tokyo 2020, Huang Mengkai admits that he will be lonely but will face any challenges with a positive mentality.
At the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, despite injury during the match, the then 20-year-old Huang beat Choi Nicholas Edward of Hong Kong, China, in his Asian Games debut. In the team event, Huang bagged a bronze for China along with Ma Jianfei and Li Chen.
Facing Ma again as opponents at the National Championships, Huang played well and led his team to beat Ma's Guangdong 45-34 to claim team foil gold. In the individual event earlier, Huang lost to his teammate Chen Weiquan to take silver.
"The individual event earlier got me well-prepared for the team event," said the Fujian native. "This is the last national competition before the Tokyo Olympics so this has been really helpful for me as many strong opponents came to compete. I established a solid foundation for Tokyo."
The current world No. 57 secured the last Olympic berth for China at the Asia-Oceania qualification tournament in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in April by dominating the individual foil final 15-4 against Malaysian Hans Yoong, becoming the only male fencer of China to participate in the foil event at Tokyo 2020.
"Of course I will feel lonely," Huang admitted. "It has never happened before. There used to be senior athletes leading the team. But we young fencers will be all out at both Tokyo and Paris Olympics, leaving zero regrets."
Talking about the personal goal at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, Huang said he will "be himself and do the best he can."
The Tokyo 2020 men's foil individual event will take place on July 26.