Samuel Labaki is a fencer who was awarded a Tier 3 Scholarship within the 2024 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program.
Samuel was born in Sydney in 2004, but soon relocated to Brisbane. He began fencing at the age of 13 due to pure coincidence, as his love of swords met the Olympic sport of fencing, which was offered at his high school. Samuel competed in the discipline of foil until late 2018, when he met his future coach, who advised him to swap epee.
After his first epee competition Samuel decided to begin fencing competitively where, in the next year, he would compete in, and win, his first national epee competition, claiming the Under 15 title. In 2020, Samuel began competing and training overseas however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic that had shut down international and national competitions, he would not be able to apply himself internationally until 2023.
At his second competition of the year, Samuel made the top 16 at a World Cup; that result was soon followed up by a 6th place finish at the Junior Asian Championships, making him the only male Australian fencer to achieve such a feat. At the World Championships that year, he made the top 64, beating the world no.4 and multi-world cup medallist. Among these achievements, Samuel claimed the title of Junior National Champion in 2023.
Samuel is working towards a podium finish at the Championship events in 2024. Beyond personal victories, he hopes his journey will be a source of inspiration to the upcoming generation of fencers, much like his coach was for him.
“It is a testament to my hard work and dedication throughout my 4 years of competitive fencing that I have been chosen to be a part of the SAHOF scholarship program. I am excited to be a part of this family filled with incredibly talented and committed individuals and I’m immensely thankful for SAHOF for helping me make an impact on Australian fencing” – Samuel Labaki on being selected as a 2024 Tier 3 Scholarship holder.
Recent Achievements List
- 2023 Asian Zonal Championships – 6th – First and only male fencer to make the top 8 at this event)
- 2023 Bahrain World Cup – 15th – defeated future Junior World Champion to make the top 16
- 2023 Junior National Championships – 1st
- 2022 Junior Commonwealth Fencing Championships – 3rd
- 2023 Under 15 National Championships – 1st
Social Links | @samuel.labaki