Fencers Perez, Curioso fall to Asiad foes

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Three-time UAAP Fencing MVP Nathaniel Perez and Fil-Am Wilfred Richard Curioso came two wins short of landing a medal in the foil event in 17th Asian Games at the Goyang gym here.

After a hot start winning four of his five preliminary matches, Perez fell to World Championship veteran Majed Al Mansoori of United Arab of Emirates in the Round of 16, 11-15.

Perez, who started playing fencing at the age of 11, tried to stand his ground against his more experienced opponent.

“Nanghihinayang ako kasi dalawang panalo na lang, medal na sana. Pero bata pa naman ako, may next time pa,” the 18-year-old Perez said.

After trailing for most part of the match, Perez stormed back to equalize at 10-all, but a series of counter-attacks from Al Mansoori ended Phl’s medal hopes in the sport.

“Madami akong natutunan dito. Puro counter-attacks lang siya (Al Mansoori) umiskor sa akin. Kailangan fast attack ako next time,” said Perez, who now has one Asian Games experience tucked under his belt.

Earlier, Curioso was stopped by 19-year-old World Junior Championship silver medalist Chen Haiwei of China, 15-5.

Curioso, born to Filipino migrants in New York, could not solve the Chen puzzle. Chen earlier dealt Curioso a 5-0 beating in the preliminary.

Chen needed only one round to score the easy victory.

Curioso, who is aiming to score points to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics, had to stave off Kazakhstan’s Yuriy Bidarev, 15-14, in the Round of 32.

Bidarev rallied to wrest the lead, 12-10, from a 4-7 deficit in the first round. But Curioso recovered his bearings to advance.

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