Catantan finally wins elusive SEA Games fencing gold

Michelle Lojo - Philstar.com
Catantan finally wins elusive SEA Games fencing gold
Singapore's Maxine Jie Xin Wong (L) competes against Philippines' Samantha Catantan during the women's foil individual fencing final at the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in Hanoi on May 14, 2022.

MANILA, Philippines – Samantha Catantan ended her Southeast Asian Games gold medal drought after conquering the Women's Individual Foil Finals in the 31st edition of the biennial meet in Hanoi on Saturday.

The sophomore out of Penn State edged Singapore's Maxine Wong in the finals, 14-12, to clinch the Philippine fencing team's first SEA Games gold in Hanoi.

It was Catantan's first gold in three tries after she settled for bronze in the 2019 Games in the Manila and a silver back in 2017.

She lost to Singapore's Amita Berthier both times.

Catantan made quick work of her opponents during the preliminary rounds, conceding only one match.

Upon reaching the quarterfinals, Catantan gained the upper hand against Vietnam's Thu Phuong Nguyen Thi, 12-7, to reach the semifinals.

But Catantan would not settle for anything less than gold as she took control of the match against Thailand's Chayanutphat Shinnakerdchoke, 15-4, to move a step closer to that elusive gold. She forged a rematch with Singapore's Maxine Wong, who swept her during the preliminaries, 0-5.

Not allowing history to repeat itself, Cantantan held her ground and finally bagged the gold.

Fellow Philippine bet in Women's Foil, Maxine Esteban, fell to Singapore's Kemei Cheung, 10-15 in the early goings.

For the Men's Individual Epee, Noelito Jose Jr. nabbed silver after falling to host country bet and defending champion Nhat Nguyen Tien in the final, 11-15.

Jose, now on his second SEA Games appearance, previously took home bronze in the same event during the 2019 SEA Games.

The UST fencing team captain started the preliminaries with a sweep of Cambodia's Tangchin Thong and continued a winning streak against bets from Singapore and Malaysia. He finished the preliminaries undefeated.

Jose then made quick work in his semifinals match against Malaysia’s I Jie Koh, 15-5, to advance to the finals where he eventually fell to Vietnam's Nhat Nguyen Tien.

Fellow fencer Jian Miguel Bautista suffered tough defeats early in the Men's Individual Epee preliminaries — winning only once against Cambodia — and failed to reach the knockout rounds.



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