National fencers want serious training

The national fencing team is already craving for action due to the long lull brought by the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at the latest edition of The Athletes Tribune Monday night, national team members Samantha Catantan and Maxine Esteban said the long break had limited them to online trainings since the Philippine Sports Commission has yet to allow face-to-face workouts.

Although they are craving for serious action, the break is also working to their advantage as they have yet to go full blast in their preparation for the Tokyo Olympics, which was moved to next year.

“We are saddened when they postponed it since we have yet to get enough training since the lockdown in March,” Catantan, an athletic scholar at Penn State in the US National Collegiate Athletic Association, said.

“Our training is purely via Zoom and I am getting nervous over my performance in the qualifiers. I have to admit that we are really not yet prepared.”

Initially, the fencers were set to see action in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament last 17 April in South Korea, but it got halted due to the global outbreak of the pandemic.

But with the extended lockdown, Catantan and Esteban are optimistic that they still have time to prepare, especially for the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi next year.

After all, the Philippines will be coming in as one of the teams to watch after winning two gold, two silver and seven bronze medals in the previous biennial meet in Manila.

Hanniel Abella, Anna Estimada, Harlene Raguin and Mickyle Bustos dominated the women’s epee category while Jylyn Nicanor’s ruled the women’s sabre.

Date: October 28, 2020 | By: Bea Micaller | Newspaper: Tribune | Source: