Fencer Samson Lee out of SEA Games team after missing training sessions
The Singapore men’s epee team’s bid for a second consecutive gold at the upcoming SEA Games has been dealt a blow, after veteran fencer Samson Lee was dropped from the squad for missing three training sessions.
He had reportedly missed training due to the birth of his child, his father’s hospitalisation and work commitments.
The 36-year-old, who won the team gold at the 2021 edition, appeared to be referring to Fencing Singapore, saying on social media that his hard work has been “all for nothing”, and that the missed sessions “weighed far more than all my effort and work I’ve put in to prepare for the SEA Games”.
In an Instagram post, the founder of the SG Academy of Fencing added: “I’ve explained how these three training sessions happen to fall within one of the most busy and tough periods, and explained how my training and preparation are not affected even if there is much going on.
“But it is easy for them to vote against someone who is working so hard juggling everything while going through one of the most tiring periods of his life, when they don’t have to say no to his face in person. It is easier for them to vote no, because it’s simpler to follow the book than to try (and) understand and support an athlete who has dedicated so much of his time and life to this sport.”
Lee declined to comment when contacted by The Straits Times. Fencing Singapore also did not want to comment as the national sports association said that the matter was closed.
Lee, who has competed at five SEA Games and won a team silver (2019) and individual bronze in 2015, was part of the men’s epee team who made history at the Hanoi SEA Games by winning the nation’s first gold in the event. Singapore’s fencers went on to record their best-ever showing at the SEA Games with six gold, four silver and five bronze medals.
ST understands that there will not be a replacement for Lee at the upcoming Games owing to the tight timeline, with the fencing competition to begin on May 11.
With him out of the team, they will be represented by Bron Sheum, Si To Jian Tong and Simon Lee. Si To and Simon were part of the squad that won gold in Vietnam in 2022.
Lee added in his post: “On the bright side, this will give me more time to spend with my family... I will be supporting you boys wholeheartedly regardless (of) where I am.”