Maxine Esteban bolsters Olympic bid
WORLD CUP FENCING

Maxine Esteban bolsters Olympic bid

/ 11:32 PM January 13, 2024

Maxine Esteban Ivory Coast fencing

Fencer Maxine Esteban is off to a strong start for Ivory Coast in her bid to qualify for Paris Olympics. –CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Maxine Esteban continues to fight her way to Paris.

The Filipino-Ivorian fencer emerged unscathed from her poules, winning all six matches late Friday night to barge into the main draw of the Mazars Challenge International de Paris and boost her chances of qualifying to the 2024 Paris Olympics. Esteban was scheduled to begin her stint in the knockout rounds late Saturday.

The tournament, also known as the Paris World Cup, is one of the last four Olympic qualifying tournaments for fencing.

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READ: Top PH fencer Maxine Esteban transfers to Ivory Coast

“My coach and I are extremely happy with my performance today,” said Esteban, who is mentored by renowned Italian coach Andrea Magro. “Getting into the main draw (table of 64) of a World Cup is really a lot more difficult than in a world championship”

“After my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) surgery, this feat had been quite elusive. I am really very encouraged by the results and hope that I keep moving forward and upward,” she added.

Sweeping the preliminaries meant Esteban qualified 14th out of 430 fencers in the women’s foil event.

READ: Recovering physically but mind-ready, Esteban takes first steps to Paris 2024

She will begin her bid in the round-of-64 against Katarina Lung of the US.

The 23-year-old Esteban kicked off her bid by beating Laeticia Jorgensen of Denmark before turning back Yunjia Zhang of Canada. Esteban also racked up huge victories over Gaia Cantucci of Slovakia, hometown bet Esther Bonny of France, Larissa Evers of Germany and Shiori Takezawa of Japan. —Francis T. J. Ochoa

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