Defending their trophy from last year’s inaugural Falcon Young Fencer Invitational, the NIST fencers once again seized the home advantage and finished the weekend tournament with top honors. From 2-3 May, NIST was visited by many of Thailand’s top young fencers for the tournament, which was attended by teams from around Thailand, as well as from Singapore. The 2015 invitational also marked the first to receive official recognition from the Thai Fencing Federation (TFF), which accredited the event.
With the theme “Code of Honor”, the event was well received by the 85 fencers who represented eight teams in total, as well as age groups not typically represented in national tournaments. Awards were given for both boys and girls at the U12, U14, U17 and U20 age groups, as well as a mixed U10 group. During the team competition, national coach Somkhit Phongyoo and Coach Willi Kothny implemented a mixed-team format, with one national team fencer, one Falcon fencer and one more from another club. This format not only allowed the competitors to share trophies and medals, but also their experiences in the sport.
Off the fencing strip, the Thai Fencing Federation praised the organizational effort, citing the Falcon Fencing Club as a model for other clubs. The Falcon Fencing Committee effectively transitioned a competitive sport that is largely undeveloped in Thailand into a well-managed, professional tournament, pulling in sponsorships and strengthening the Falcon Fencing Club in the process. With their many recent successes, the club has become another powerful example of our vibrant NIST community.
For more photos of the event, visit our Zenfolio album. In addition to the overall trophy earned by the Falcon fencers, congratulations to the individual medal winners:
Silver: Chirapon (Tor) Taepaisitphongse
Bronze: Nattaros (Mek) Saengchaiwutthikul
Gold: Natwadee (Miya) Limpi-Angkanan
Bronze: Nattasiri (Mok) Viravaidya & Ranchida (Tem) Teapaisitphongse
Silver: Pheem Intarakumthonchai
Bronze: Patrick Voortman
Gold: Ratchapa (Susie) Chongthaweephol
Gold: Soravit (Ping Ping) Kitsiriboon
Bronze: Ratchapa (Susie) Chongthaweephol & Reya Lamsam
Bronze: Soravit (Ping Ping) Kitsiriboon
About the NIST Falcon Fencing Club
The NIST Falcon Fencing Club is the first international school fencing club in Thailand. Having become a member of the Amateur Fencing Association of Thailand (AFAT) in July 2013, it now includes over 30 fencers, with over 30 more students enrolled in the sport as an extra-curricular activity and aiming to join the club. Having doubled over the course of the last year, the sport has grown rapidly, as has the team of highly qualified coaches.
Leading the young Falcons is Head Coach Wiradech (Willi) Kothny, a decorated fencing aficionado who holds the distinction of being the only fencing athlete to win medals for two countries: Germany and Thailand. Kothny joined NIST in June of 2013, aiming to empower the NIST Falcons to compete on the national and international levels. With a growing number of promising fencers at NIST and around the country, and the backing of an Olympian and TFF, Thailand may soon find more success on the international stage.