ONE Championship Strawweight World Title contender Rene “The Challenger” Catalan promises to return better and stronger after falling short of his golden goal in the recently-concluded Southeast Asian Games.
The 40-year-old finished silver in the 57-kilogram men's combat sambo after losing to Fajar of Indonesia with a score of 11-3.
While he admits that the result stings, he is happy he had the chance to represent the country.
“As I’ve said, losing is a part of any sport but of course it hurts. This is a little hard for me to take because I was limited,” Catalan said.
“But despite all of that, I still gave my best because I know I’m bringing the name of the Philippines with me. I wanted to show that even though I am at a disadvantage, I am ready to give my all for that gold medal.”
Coming in the multi-sport biennial event as the clear favorite to capture gold, “The Challenger” felt the effects of the heel hook from his Thai counterpart Chatchai Ritthidecha in the semifinals.
Even though he won, he had little time to recover for the finals. Catalan battled bravely in the gold medal match, though Fajar was just too slick and too strong.
“No excuses. A silver medal is still a silver medal and I believe I’ve made my country proud, nonetheless. I know they saw how much I wanted to get that gold medal for them.”Despite back-to-back setbacks that started with his loss to reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “Passion” Pacio at ONE: MASTERS OF FATE on 8 November, Catalan is optimistic.
After all, he has been defying father time and he has no plans to stop now.
“My loss to Joshua Pacio and the SEA Games are the biggest lessons for me this year. I know that I can use this moving forward, especially in my next fights with ONE this 2020,” Catalan said.
The Home Of Martial Arts returns to action on 10 January for ONE: A NEW TOMORROW at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.
Catch all the action live and for free on the ONE Super App.
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