Singapore fencer Amita Berthier, 18, wins gold in senior satellite tourney
Fencer Amita Berthier added another feather to her cap by winning gold at the Trekantan International in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Monday morning (Oct 7, Singapore time).
This makes her only the second Singaporean to clinch a senior satellite tournament on the International Fencing Federation (FIE) circuit.
The 18-year-old, who was seeded fifth, won five out of her six matches in the poules. She went on to upset second-ranked Martyna Dlugosy of Poland 15-11 in the quarter-finals, before defeating another Polish fencer Julia Walczyk 15-11 in the semi-finals.
In the final, Berthier emerged triumphant against Italy's Elena Tangherlini 15-9 to gain four FIE points in her quest to qualify for next year's Tokyo Olympics.
Berthier is the first Singaporean to win a senior satellite competition in the Tokyo 2020 qualifying period, which ends in April 2020. Nicole Wong was the first to win a senior satellite in Turkey in December 2014
Berthier, an undergraduate at University of Notre Dame, had taken a gap year to train full-time in a bid to qualify for Tokyo 2020.
She had a change in coach in May when she went under the tutelage of world-renowned foil coach Amgad Khazbak, who also mentors leading American woman foilist Lee Kiefer, the world No. 1 foil fencer in 2017.
Said Fencing Singapore (FS) president Juliana Seow: “Amita’s achievements today are fuelled by her undying passion and commitment to the sport, supported by her mother Uma, coach Amgad, club Z Fencing, school Notre Dame, FS and SSI (Singapore Sports Institute). It truly takes a village to support a high-performance athlete.”
Her next competition will be the senior satellite in Barcelona on Oct 26. Still a junior (20 and under), Berthier will also be fencing at the London Junior World Cup on Nov 2 before heading to the SEA Games in Manila.