- Samantha Catantan emerged victorious in the Asian U23 fencing tournament held in Bangkok, Thailand last October 24
- She won the Philippines’ first-ever gold medal in the tournament
- She will lead the Philippine fencing team in the upcoming Southeast Asian Games
A 17-year-old Filipina fencer made history when she bagged the Philippines’ first gold medal in the Asian U23 fencing tournament.
Teen fencer Samantha Kyle Catantan defeated South Korea’s Choi Yu Min in the final match of the Women’s individual foil competition in the Asian U23 held in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Philippine pride rules over another South Korean, Choi Minseo, in the semifinal round to advance to the finals.
“There are many world-class contenders in this competition with the likes of Japan, Korea and Hong Kong. But I know that Sam is also a contender to win the gold because of her high mental toughness,” Philippine fencing team coach Rolando Canlas Jr. said in a Manila Times report.
Reports also disclosed that Catantan had to overcome hand cramps before taking on Choi in the gold medal match. This was after she eked out a come-from-behind win in the semifinals match.
Catantan, who is also a university athlete representing the University of the East in the UAAP, was a bronze medalist in the previous Asian U23 competition.
“I just told her to play with no pressure and that this is our training for the SEA Games,” Canlas said. Catantan is set to compete in the biennial meet come November.
The no. 16 cadet fencer in the world expressed her elation for winning the gold medal in her social media accounts last October 25 saying: My first Asian Individual gold medal!
Truly deserving of applause. Congratulations!