Catantan claims second gold in Nat’l Open

Published July 8, 2021, 4:32 PM

by Waylon Galvez

Samantha Catantan, left, scored a point against Maxine Esteban during their final bout in women’s foil in leg 2 of the NationalOpen Fencing Championship Thursday at the Superdome in Ormoc City. (Photo from Elite Facebook Page)

Same opponent, same result.

Samantha Catantan delivered another solid performance as she scored a thrilling 15-13 win against Maxine Esteban in the final bout of the women’s foil category in the second leg of the National Open Fencing Championships Thursday, July 8 at the Superdome in Ormoc City.

Four days after the 19-year-old Catantan came through with a 15-8 victory over Esteban in the final match of the first leg, her fellow national team mainstay tested her to the limit.

In the end, the experience she had gained and the lessons she received in playing quality competitions abroad proved to be beneficial to Catantan.

Over the last four months, she had played as a freshman at Penn State University in the US NCAA Fencing Championship in Pennsylvania, Juniors/Cadets World Fencing Championship in Egypt, the Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) for Asia in Uzbekistan, and the North America Cup in Virginia.

“As expected, it was a tough match. That is expected because we both love to compete,” said Catantan, who considers Esteban – her former rival at Ateneo when she used to play as a high school fencer for University of the East in the UAAP – as one of her closest friends.

“In every tournament, I try to learn something new. It’s important to learn something from these international competitions and gain experience,” added Catantan, who won bronze medals in the US NCAA and the OQT, and a silver medal in the North America Cup.

The win improved Catantan’s total to 24 points after earning 12 points which is being given to gold medal winners in this tournament that serves as qualifiers for national team hopefuls for the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam.

Under the tournament format, winners get 12 points, while silver medalists receive 10 points, bronze medal winners gain eight points, followed by the 5th to 6th with six points, 7th to 8th five points, 9th to 12th three points, 13th to 16th two points, and 17th to 32nd one point.

On her way to the final round, Catantan defeated Anne Nicole Baring of UE 15-4 in the quarterfinals after earning a bye in the Round of 16, and fellow national team member Justine Gail Tinio 15-9 in the semifinal round.

Esteban, on the other hand, downed Republic Fencing’s Kailjinsei de Serna 15-1 in the Round of 16, Janna Allysah Catantan – younger sister of Samantha – of UST 15-6 in the quarters, and PH team teammate Wilhelmina Lozada 15-9 in the semis.

The third leg of the is set July 10-11 in this event organized by the Philippine Fencing Association and supported by the City Government of Ormoc led by its mayor Richard Gomez – the president of the PFA.

Meanwhile, 2019 SEA Games gold medalist Jylyn Nicanor also earned her second gold medal as she outclassed Queendenise Dalmacio of University of the East 15-4 in women’s sabre category.

Nicanor, who won the title in the women’s individual sabre in the biennial meet, repeated against Dalmacio, whom she dominated in the first leg final 15-3.

On her way to the gold medal bout in this second leg, she won against Maria Angela Dayro of Vicious Brainiac Fencing 15-3 in the quarterfinal after a bye in the round of 16, and fellow national team member Allaine Nicole Cortey 15-5 in the semifinal round.

In women’s epee, Mickyle Bustos – a member of the gold medal winning women’s team epee in the SEA Games two years ago here – captured the gold medal following a 15-11 win against UE’s Andrea Jennelle Matias in the final.

It was a big improvement for Bustos after finishing in seventh place in the first leg when she lost to SEA Games teammate Hanniel Abella 15-9 in the quarterfinal. She defeated first leg champion Jaymi De los Santos in 15-9 in the quarterfinal.