Rich medal harvest in KL fencing for UE bets

The Philippine Star
Rich medal harvest in KL fencing for UE bets
University of the East fencers, from left, Nina Canlas, James Lim and Willa Galvez show their medals.

MANILA, Philippines — University of the East high school fencers Nina Canlas and James Lim dominated their respective categories even as Red Warriors rookie Willa Galvez made a huge contribution in the 2nd Malaysia Fencing Federation Minime International Fencing Championship held Nov. 30 to Dec. 5 at the Tan Sri Hamzah Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Canlas, a Grade 9 student at UE-Manila, captured two gold medals after ruling the Under-14 and Under-17 women’s epee individual, beating Sara Sofea Idongesit of Malaysia’s Five Star Fencing Club, 15-11, in the finals of U-14, and Ching Yang of Taipei, 15-10, in the U-17 finals.

Nina, the eldest of three Canlas siblings of UE head coach and former national team chief mentor Rolando “Amat” Canlas Jr., bagged her third gold when she teamed up with UE rookie Juliana Jimenez, Justa Sandoval and Zoey Velasco of Canlas Fencing in a 45-41 win over Malaysia’s Bekking Fencing in the U-17 team women’s epee.

Lim, on the other hand, came through with a thrilling 15-13 win over Saif Nordin of Malaysia’s Touche Fencing Club in the U-14 men’s foil finals. A UE 10th grader, Lim is aiming to defend the gold in the junior’s category in the coming UAAP Season 86 Fencing Championship in March.

“It’s a good campaign for the UE fencers. Their participation in KL is part of training as preparation continues for the fencers for the UAAP,” said Canlas, who also got solid outings from Galvez, as well as UE’s sabre team of Nicol Canlas and Shy Catantan, and Mika Ragot in epee.

Galvez, whose participation is supported by Converge, Nickel Asia Corp., NLEX, JeorgiaMed Inc., San Miguel Corp., Rain or Shine, and Pocari Sweat Phil., had her breakthrough win in international competition as she captured the U-14 gold medal in women’s foil by besting Singapore’s Lam Xin Ying of Absolute Fencing, 15-9.

A Grade 7 student at UE, Galvez, 12, finished the six-day meet with the most medals with seven as she helped the U-12 team with CF’s Yuna Canlas, Hagia del Castillo and Lily Juico win the title against Absolute Fencing Singapore. The trio of Galvez, Canlas and Del Castillo then teamed up with Riese Santiago in winning the gold in the U-17 against Malaysia’s Persatuan Lawan.

Born in Tondo (Brgy. 188), Galvez also went home with two silvers after placing second in women’s individual epee behind Idongesit in the U-12 division, and U-12 sabre team event with Nicol Canlas, Shy Catantan and Wynter Ang. Galvez also had a pair of bronze medals – U-12 individual foil and U-12 mixed team epee.

The other top Filipino performers in the tournament were Yuri Canlas (U-8 women’s foil), Elijah Timbol (U-10 men’s foil), Yuna Canlas (U-12 women’s foil), Lucas Palafox (U-12 men’s foil), Gael Villaluna (U-12 men’s epee) and Oscar del Castillo (U-14 men’s epee) all from CF, and Leevi Chan of Republic Fencing (U-8 men’s foil).

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