Olympic-bound fencer Catantan set for Italy training camp

Olympic-bound fencer Catantan set for Italy training camp
Paris Olympics-bound fencer Samantha Catantan (accompanied by her mother Aileen) and coach Amat Canlas receive support for their upcoming Olympic preparation from Burlington Industries PH Inc. general manager Ruddy Tan, left, and production manager Dexter Tan.

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino fencer Samantha Catantan will start her much-needed training camp in Venice, Italy later this week as she prepares for her first ever stint in the Olympics in Paris, France.

Catantan is scheduled to leave for Italy on Wednesday, June 12, for a two-week training camp. Penn State University fencing team foil coach Matteo Zennaro, who is from Italy, was the one who arranged the training camp.

“With the help of my coaches at Penn State University, we’re able to arrange this training camp,” said Catantan, who recently received support from DRI+ , which is under Burlington Industries PH Inc. as she met with company General Manager Ruddy Tan and Production Manager Dexter Tan.

DRI+ by Burlington treated her fencing jacket and breeches with its DRI+ Technology that moves moisture away from the skin. Its added anti-microbial feature kills 99.9% of odor-causing germs to keep you cool, fresh, and dry all day.  Burlington will also provide her with her own customized fencing socks.

The 22-year-old Catantan earned a spot to the Paris Olympics by winning the women’s foil gold medal in the Asian & Oceania Olympic Qualification Tournament last April in Fujairah, the United Arab Emirates.

The accomplishment of Catantan ended a long 32-year drought to finally have a Filipino fencer in the Olympics, and the first in the women’s category. Wawit Torres, now a commissioner at the Philippine Sports Commission, competed in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics in Spain.

Percy Alger was the first Filipino fencer in the Summer Games as he participated in the 1988 Seoul Olympics in South Korea.

After her training camp in Italy, Catantan will go to Metz, France in late June to continue her preparation for the Olympics. Longtime Filipino mentor Amat Canlas will join her in France in the training camp arranged by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).

“I’m excited too for this training camp in Metz with my fellow Filipino Olympians,” said Catantan.

“Of course, I’m very thankful to be given these opportunities to train in Italy and France. It’s definitely a big help as I prepare for the Paris Olympics, I know that I’ll be able to gain valuable lessons and experience,” she added.

The opening ceremony of the Paris Olympics is on July 26, while the fencing competition is set for July 28. A total of 34 fencers in the women’s individual foil have qualified to the Summer Games.

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