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Monday, June 24, 2024

Paris-bound fencer Catantan to train with men’s squad

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Samantha Catantan will train with the national men’s team once she gets back from a brief vacation in the Palawan.

Top Filipino fencer Nathaniel Perez and members of the national men’s side will help Catantan bring up her game when she finally competes in the Paris Olympics in two months’ time.

“Puro lalaki sila. Hanggang makaalis si Sam sa Pilipinas, puro mga lalaki ang ka-training niya,” said Catantan’s coach Rolando “Amat” Canlas in an interview with the Manila Standard.

Canlas said this before Catantan and her family, including her dad Rodolfo and mom Aileen, left for Palawan on Wednesday for a short break.

Samantha’s dad Rodolfo, who recently found a job as a driver for a restaurant, also took a break from work, and was granted a leave by his employers when they learned of his daughter’s status.

“Very supportive si Papa. Busy lang sa work si Papa. Pero nag-leave siya to spend time with the family. Umiiyak siya nu’ng napanood niya laban ko sa qualifier,” said Catantan of her dad, who worked as a driver for companies and homes for many years and as a jeepney driver when his kids were younger.

Catantan is set to go through series of training camps in Manila, Italy and France in the coming weeks.

The 27-year-old Catantan arrived Monday to a heroes’ welcome at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s Terminal 1, and later at the University of the East Recto campus and the Philsports fencing hall in Pasig.

Catantan earned a seat for the Philippines during the Asia-Oceania Zonal Olympic Qualifier on in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates last April 28.

Catantan took a three-week break in the US after the qualifier, giving her a chance to recover from a muscle strain she sustained during the finals’ match and take care of her final exams at Penn State University.

Catantan competed in the Olympic qualifiers, while wearing brace on her left knee, which underwent surgery 10 months ago, following an ACL injury she sustained during the 2023 Cambodia Southeast Asian Games at the women’s foil semifinals.

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