Esteban laments fellow Filipina fencer's name being brought up in Olympic issue

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
Esteban laments fellow Filipina fencer's name being brought up in Olympic issue
Maxine Esteban
Courtesy of Carol Esteban

MANILA, Philippines -- “It was never a fight between me and Sam.”

Filipino-Ivorian fencer Maxine Esteban voiced sadness that the name of former teammate Sam Catantan was brought up in her tiff with the Philippine Fencing Association (PFA).

Earlier in the week, the PFA said it had to choose between Catantan and Esteban, and ultimately picked the former given her accomplishments.

This then led Esteban to compete for Ivory Coast last year, and last month, she secured the lone African singles spot in women’s foil for the Paris Olympics.

The Filipino-Ivorian fencer on Saturday said she is saddened that Catantan’s name was dragged onto the issue.

“It saddens me to see my teammate’s name brought up in this issue. It was never a fight between me and Sam. It was my quest for justice against my removal from the national team despite being issued an approved written excuse letter to skip all local qualifiers and training while recovering from my surgery,” she posted on Facebook.

“I have always been protective of my teammates. Their problems were mine too. Therefore, I would really appreciate it if we stop writing negative comments about her as she is not at fault here. It hurt me seeing her name brought up as she was not only my teammate, she was my best friend,” she added.

On Wednesday, the PFA stressed that Catantan was the top-ranked Philippine fencer in the women’s foil category, and that since 2017, she “has produced better results overall in international tournaments approved and budgeted by the Philippine Sports Commission and the PFA.”

“Under the FIE rules, each country can only send one fencer per category to vie for the last few places per continent for the Olympics. Thus, to secure an Olympic slot for the Philippines, the PFA was and is obliged to send Ms. Catantan – officially the country;s top-ranked women’s foilist under the aforementioned results,” it said.

Esteban said that she and Catantan “could have both achieved our dream and qualified in the Olympics as a team,” as they grew, won, lost and dreamt together.

“Unknown to many, you don't have to qualify individually, you can qualify as a team,” she bared.

“As she is now preparing for the wild card tournament, she needs all the focus. I know this, as I was in the same situation the past year as I strove for direct qualification while going through all the drama, anxiety, and sleepless nights that affected my performance as well,” she added.

“Without me in her way now, I wish her all the best in the upcoming wild card qualifier, and hope she qualifies.”

Esteban also asked the public not to drag Julianna Gomez’s name in the issue, as they are friends.

vuukle comment



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with