Fencer Samantha Catantan is waiting for the situation to clear up before she can go to the United States after the 18-year-old national athlete has accepted an athletics' scholarship at Penn State University in Pennsylvania.
Penn State has a varsity team known as the Nittany Lions, which placed runner-up in Division I of the US National Collegiate Athletic Association competitions last year.
The school is looking for new team members who can beef up their lineup this season
But Penn States' preparations for the 2020 NCAA Championship was affected when the COVID-19 pandemic erupted around the world.
As a result, Catantan has yet to process her papers from the University of the East and her travel documents to the US as she she will need to await for instructions from the school on how she can make it in time for the opening of classes at Penn State this August.
“Siyempre, gustong-gusto kong tumuloy. One time opportunity iyun sa akin. Magandang opportunity iyun. Magandang exposure iyun,” said Catantan in an online interview.
Catantan said she could either take online classes from the school, for the meantime, and later catch up when she flies to the US.
Catantan is one the Filipino fencers who settled for bronze medals during the fencing team competition in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
She had two bronze medals, one in the individual foil event and the other with the Philippine team that was composed of Maxine Esteban, Wilhelmina Lozada, and Justine Gail Tinio.
The team earned the bronze after taking a 36-45 decision to Vietnam.
When the 30th SEA Games ended, the Philippines placed third overall in fencing with its 2-2-7 gold-silver-bronze tally and the lone gold medal coming from Jylyn Nicanor, who topped the women's individual sabre.
The Philippine women's epee team of Hanniel Abella, Mickyle Bustos, Anna Estimada, Harlene Raguin took the other gold.
Last February, Catantan distinguished herself when she beat teammate Angel Beltran, 15-6, in an all-University of the East girls' individual saber finals to win her second gold in 82nd
University Athletic Association of the Philippines fencing at the Paco Arena.
For now, she is doing her workouts at home.
National coach Roland Canlas has provided her a training program to help her improve her skills.
On the other hand, the Philippine Sports Commission has also provided online instructions through a strengthening program that it has sent to all national athletes.