Catantan, Jose are fencing's top bets

FILIPINO fencers Samantha Catantan and Noelito Jose present the best opportunities for the Philippines to send athletes in the sport of fencing at the 2024 Paris Olympics in July.The two, together with fellow fencers Nathaniel Perez and Hanniel Abella, will see action in the Asian Olympic Qualifying Tournament (QOT) on April 27-28 in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates.

Barcelona Olympics veteran Walter Torres believes that while the OQT is a tough competition, Catantan and Jose — based on their respective track records — are up to the challenge.

“It’s tougher now to qualify for the Olympics because fencing has gone up, the coaching has improved and technology. But for me, I see Samantha as really having the chance to qualify,” said Torres, now a commissioner of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).

catantan, jose are fencing's top bets
Noelito Jose CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

“Her training, exposure at Penn State University is very helpful, and it shows in her performances. We at the PSC supported Sam and Noel — the fact that the PSC helped means to say that we believe they are capable of qualifying,” added Torres.

Catantan and Perez will compete in the foil, while Abella and Jose will represent the country in the epee event. Only the top fencers in each event, including in saber, will earn an Olympic berth.

Catantan nearly made it to the Olympics three years ago in Tokyo after she advanced in the semifinal round at the Asian OQT in Uzbekistan. However, she lost to Yana Alborova, 15-10, in the final four.

Although she is coming back from an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) surgery on her left knee, Catantan has shown great progress and, without a doubt, has regained her deadly form.

A solid performance during the 2024 US NCAA Fencing Championship last month when she finished 10th out of the 24 best fencers in US colleges speaks volume of her readiness in the Asian OQT.

As for Jose, he also has been able to participate and do well in various World Cup and Grand Prix that made him up for the challenge in next week’s meet. The same goes to Perez and Abella, who are spending on their own with help from private sponsors to get a spot for the Olympics.

catantan, jose are fencing's top bets
Samantha Catantan CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

It was in 1992 when Torres competed in the Barcelona Games via the wild card berth. Prior to that, the only other Filipino fencer who has made it to the Olympics was Percy Alger — a participant in the 1988 Seoul Games in South Korea.

Torres said that while he prepared for two months in Germany that included a stint in the World Championships, he was “overwhelmed” at the Olympics as he faced not just the best in Asia but the world.

“I was in the same pool with China’s No. 1 player, against a tall Italian, I won my bout against Singapore’s Ronald Tan, lost 5-4 to a fencer from the former USSR. If I won that I would’ve made it to the DE (direct eliminations),” he said.

Torres, who retired after the 1995 Southeast Asian Games to finish his dentistry degree at the University of the Philippines in 1996, said that Catantan and the three other fencers will face tough challenges in Fujairah.

“But this Asian OQT is an opportunity to show what Filipinos are made of,” he said.

“We wish them the best of luck. Going there is already an achievement. Their willingness to go is a sign that they are prepared and want to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics. The PSC is behind our fencers.”

OTHER NEWS

20 minutes ago

‘Home Alone’ House For Sale In Chicago Suburb

21 minutes ago

Fans slam Andre Onana for 'HOWLER' in FA Cup final after he gave Man City hope of comeback by failing to stop Jeremy Doku's strike late on

21 minutes ago

How gangs of racist thugs in balaclavas attack family's home and abuse them in the street - leaving them in fear for their lives

21 minutes ago

Manchester United win the FA Cup! 'Dead man walking' manager Erik ten Hag defies the odds as Prince William watches teenagers Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo score to down Man City at Wembley

22 minutes ago

Chelsea are RELEGATED to the Europa Conference League and Newcastle are knocked out of Europe all-together after Man United's FA Cup triumph

22 minutes ago

Despicable moment bike-riding yob, 16, snatches mother's phone while she was taking pictures of her daughter in the street - in latest example of crime wave sweeping London

23 minutes ago

Fernandez “crying like a baby” after “very stupid mistake” in Barcelona MotoGP sprint

24 minutes ago

Families say closing Dublin nursing home will cause 'immense trauma' to residents

24 minutes ago

Filipino entrepreneur seeking Qatar market for expansion plans

24 minutes ago

Meet Track and Field’s Newest Barbie Doll

24 minutes ago

“There’s no tragedy because there’s no real change”: Stephen King’s Fight With Stanley Kubrick Had a Much Deeper Reason Than Just the Script

24 minutes ago

Tom Holland isn’t the problem with Jamie Lloyd’s Romeo & Juliet – review

25 minutes ago

Starmer to cut voting age to 16 as Labour and Tories clash on first weekend of election campaign

25 minutes ago

South Africa's 4 big political parties begin final weekend of campaigning ahead of election

25 minutes ago

From first impressions to tactical voting: how the UK election will be won or lost

25 minutes ago

Israel's military probes video appearing to show reservist calling for mutiny against defense minister

25 minutes ago

Rockaway shark bite victim on long road to recovery — as NYC beach season opens

25 minutes ago

‘The View’ host Ana Navarro slams Latino Trump supporters’ ‘very stupid attitude’

25 minutes ago

Houston woman recalls terrifying moment storm moved car, blew out window while she was inside

25 minutes ago

Channel Seven star Elspeth Hussey, 40, announces she's expecting 'honeymoon baby' just months after wedding - and reveals how she has been hiding her pregnancy on air

25 minutes ago

Video: Kim Kardashian's daughter North West, 10, receives STANDING OVATION as she makes acting debut as Simba in Disney's The Lion King at starry Hollywood Bowl concert - as Kanye West and Kris Jenner lead family members in the audience

25 minutes ago

Red Lobster staff dish on the toxic and demoralizing workplace and how Thai bosses destroyed the world's largest seafood chain

25 minutes ago

Video: Despicable moment bike-riding yob, 16, snatches mother's phone while she was taking pictures of her daughter in the street - in latest example of crime wave sweeping London

25 minutes ago

Video: Broadmoor firefighters tell locals to keep their windows shut after huge blaze breaks out at psychiatric hospital that caged some of UK's most notorious criminals including Ronnie Kray and the Yorkshire Ripper

25 minutes ago

Boris Johnson will miss the election campaign and Tories are panicking... but a fresh purge of Boris fans by No10 is still in full swing, write GLEN OWEN and ANNA MIKHAILOVA

25 minutes ago

Queen Letizia of Spain stuns in vibrant red trouser suit as joins King Felipe in Oviedo to mark Spain's National Armed Forces Day

25 minutes ago

Video: Helen Skelton says 'one last goodbye' to her marital home as she moves out following split from Richie Myler

25 minutes ago

My father was paralysed after he suddenly fainted on holiday, now life has changed for my whole family: Read SACHIN KURESHI'S unflinchingly honest account of trauma

25 minutes ago

Video: Warmonger Putin bombs hardware superstore in Kharkiv in 'vile' attack - killing at least two, wounding more than 20 and sending huge column of black smoke into the sky

25 minutes ago

USMNT weekend viewing guide: A last pass

25 minutes ago

Kapil Sibal: 'EC's ignorance can put democracy in jeopardy'

25 minutes ago

1971 Ford Bronco Half-Cab Pickup Is Today's Bring a Trailer Pick

25 minutes ago

Exact FA Cup prize money won by every club as Man City face Man Utd in final

25 minutes ago

IPL 2024 Final: Win or Lose, Shreyas Iyer Had a Point to Prove and He's Done It Already

25 minutes ago

Ravens land No. 2 in ranking of Top-10 most complete NFL rosters

25 minutes ago

Swinney defends decision to challenge ‘prejudiced’ Matheson probe sanction

25 minutes ago

Whitecaps fans frustrated superstar Messi will miss Vancouver vs. Miami game

25 minutes ago

Smerconish: ‘Something’s not right about this’ hush money trial.

25 minutes ago

Russia's Ceasefire Strategy: Preparing for Future Offensive in Ukraine

25 minutes ago

‘I am grateful for the opportunity’ — Xavi gives classy response to being axed by Laporta

Kênh khám phá trải nghiệm của giới trẻ, thế giới du lịch