Fencer Maxine Esteban glad to banner PH in SEAG with Sam Catantan once again

Jul 12, 2021

FOR the third time in a row, Maxine Esteban is off to grace the Southeast Asian Games.

The Filipina fencer once again secured her spot in the national team's roster after winning a gold medal in the 2021 PFA Open Fencing Championship and SEA Games Qualifying in Ormoc City last weekend.

"It feels great to be representing the country again. For athletes like us, the culmination of all our hard work is really the chance to do your best in every endeavor to uplift the Filipinos," she told SPIN Life.

While the 30th SEAG foil bronze medalist is happy for her personal feat, she's also glad to have fenced on the opposite side of the mat against pal and teammate Sam Catantan, who bagged two gold finishes.

Catantan, who's now with Penn State University, finished on top during the first and second leg of the tourney, while Esteban got silver in both. Then, in the final leg, Esteban clinched no. 1 and Catantan, no. 2.

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    The Ateneo athlete couldn't be happier with the experience.

    "Sam is a very talented fencer, I am happy to have the opportunity to fence with her in all the final rounds. In spite of controversies hounding us professionally, our friendship has remained solid," she said. "Fencing with her has given me the opportunity to believe in myself, motivated me to continue my quest, and lastly, be happy for all her achievements as well."

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    No official list has been drawn up, but their 1 and 2 finishes have all but guaranteed them a spot apiece.

    It will be the third time the two will be teammates and in the upcoming regional meet, which has officially been moved to 2022, as announced by the SEA Games Federation Council at a meeting last week.

    As for Esteban, she's joining a couple of training camps overseas to improve on her personal skills as a preparation for the SEA Games hosted by Vietnam.

    "I am headed to Italy next week for a month-long training camp, then, I will be staying in Europe to train. Hopefully, the competitions lined up for the next season will pursue as scheduled, all these will be mostly in Europe," she said.

    She is also in close coordination with the Philippine Fencing Federation as she plans to execute all these preps and preseason tourneys across borders.

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