COLUMBIA — He started fencing because track and soccer did not appeal to him. He continued because the sport appealed to him.
"You gotta like the idea of hitting someone with a sword," Anurup Krishna, 16, said.
Krishna, who was born in India but now lives near Kansas City, has been a saber fencer since his father introduced him to fencing four years ago. Although he initially did not like the sport, he continued with it at his father's urging. He got better and has since developed a deep appreciation for fencing.
"Fencing is a big part of my life," Krishna said. "I'm at practice four to five days a week, for at least three hours each day."
When he started fencing, he started with a straight attack, which did not work for him. The sport requires competitors to develop their own style, and Krishna decided an offensive style was more suited to him — breaking up his opponent's tempo and time to set them off-balance.
This method has not always worked for him, however. His most difficult opponent is a fellow saber fencer, Calvin Liang.
"He is fast and figures you out really quickly," Krishna said. "I have lost plenty of fights where I have not been as fast in figuring my opponents out. That's why some people call fencing fast-paced chess."
Krishna is a student at Blue Valley Southwest High School in Kansas City. This was his first time competing in the Show-Me State Games.
"I will fence even in college," he said. "Maybe I'll even go professional with it, like NCAA professional."
Apart from fencing, Krishna is also an A-class piano player. He has been playing the piano since he was 8 years old.
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