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    PH fencers Catantan, Esteban all business in all-Pinoy SEA Games duel

    6 days ago
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño

    FATE really works in mysterious ways. And sometimes, it rears its cruel head.

    That was the case for the Philippine women's fencing team on Wednesday when Samantha Catantan and Maxine Esteban found themselves on the opposing sides in the quarterfinals of women's individual foil on Wednesday.

    After contrasting showings in the eliminations, the Filipinas found themselves drawn against each other in the bracket, with Catantan being seeded third and Esteban sixth, setting themselves up to a faceoff in the Round of 8.

    "Sobrang lungkot po talaga kasi parehas po talaga kaming nag-prepare para dito," said Catantan of the unfortunate event.

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    Heartbroken as the two were, it didn't stop them from taking each other to the limit, just like how they've done in the buildup to the biennial meet.

    In the end, though, it was Catantan who had the upper hand, taking hard a 15-11 victory and assured herself of the podium finish.

    "Kailangan po talagang may malaglag na isa sa aming dalawa. Sobrang sad po talaga," said the 17-year-old fencer.

    It didn't help that Catantan couldn't break through eventual gold medalist Amita Marie Berthier of Singapore in their semis duel, 15-9, to be denied of the gold.

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    It was the second time the two faced off in the biennial games, the last time in the gold medal match two years ago in Kuala Lumpur.

    "Sobrang naghihinayang ako kasi gusto ko po talaga mag-gold medal," rued Catantan. "Nanggigigil na rin po ako, pero soon, matatalo ko rin siya talaga."

    She's counting her blessings, though, grateful that she still wound up with a bronze.

    "Thankful pa rin ako and blessed kasi nakakuha pa rin po ako ng bronze medal. Siguro po kailangan ko pang mag-training, kailangan ko pa talagang mag-double time para makakuha ako ng gold medal next time," she said, shifting her attention to the team foil competitions on Friday.

    "We will push po talaga na makakuha ng gold medal ngayon pong team event."

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    PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño
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