Samantha Kyle Catantan has given the country another history-making victory for Philippine sports as she captured the country’s first Women’s Individual gold medal in the Asian Under-23 Fencing Championship in Thailand.
The 17-year-old Filipina fencer secured her first place finish in the Women’s Individual Foil competition held on October 24 in Bangkok.
The University of the East (UE) high school student’s first individual gold at the fencing championship improved on her bronze medal finish in the same competition in 2018.
Sam defeated several opponents in the earlier rounds to move up to the finals of her division. Her most notable win was a come-from-behind victory in the semifinals against South Korea’s Choi Minseo 15-14. Sam also had an easy win from Malaysia’s Philippa Ong Jiyi, 15-4 in the quarterfinals.
In the final event, despite experiencing some hand cramps, the young Filipina simply outperformed Choi Yu Min of South Korea, 15-9, winning the gold medal in the U23 women’s foil individual.
In 2018, Catantan and the UE female fencers secured the country’s first team gold in the same tourney, the Asian Under 23 Women’s Team Foil event.
UE’s 4-time University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Girls’ Fencing Champion was also a silver medalist in the 29th SEA Games held in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia when she was only 15 years old.
Samantha Catantan is presently training and preparing for the 30th SEA Games that will be held in the country from November 30 – December 11.
1993 SEA Games gold medalist Maria Leonor Estampador, the country’s first female fencing coach, was honored by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Switzerland with the Continental Award for Asia.
Filipino fencers have also secured multiple medals at the South East Asia Fencing Federation Championships.
SEND congratulations in the comments below to Samantha Catantan for securing her first gold at the Asian U23 Fencing Championship!
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