Venice training set for ‘thankful’ Catantan
FENCING

Venice training set for ‘thankful’ Catantan

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 05:10 AM June 12, 2024

Venice training set for ‘thankful’ Catantan

Philippines’ Samantha Catantan reacts after beating Singapore’s Maxine Jie Xin Wong in the women’s epee individual fencing final at the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in Hanoi on May 14, 2022. (Photo by TANG CHHIN SOTHY / AFP)

Sam Catantan embarks on a final push with a rigorous training camp in Venice, Italy, where world-class fencers could simulate the challenges that she will face in the Paris Olympics.

“I can’t wait to enter the camp. I know I could gain valuable lessons and experience in time for the Olympics,’’ Catantan told the Inquirer after being treated to a mini-sendoff by the Philippine Olympians Association at the College of Saint Benilde on Tuesday.

The 22-year-old from Frisco, Quezon City, is the first woman fencer in the Philippine team to the Olympics, but there are no great expectations in her debut at the global sports showpiece.

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“The best fencers in the world will be there, so the challenge to win a medal is really overwhelming,’’ said Catantan, who secured an Olympic berth after topping the field in the Asian Olympic Qualification in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, last month.

Since that victory, she hasn’t really plunged into an intensive workout for the Summer Games.

Catantan took her final examination as a graduating accounting major at Penn State University nearly three weeks ago, got a much-needed vacation with the family and attended several functions within the Philippine fencing community.

She will leave for Venice on Wednesday.

“I’m very thankful for these opportunities to train in Italy and France. It will definitely boost my confidence and make me better as I prepare for the Olympics,’’ said Catantan.

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