CJ Concepcion planned to spoil Thanh An Vu’s aspirations of winning his third straight gold medal in the men’s individual sabre of the 30th Southeast Asian Games’ fencing event, Tuesday.
Unfortunately, the 22-year-old failed, with the Vietnamese pulling off a close 15-13 win to extend his reign.
“Pangatlo na niya ngayon na gold medal. Sayang lang kasi ‘di ko na-break ‘yung streak niya,” Concepcion lamented.
Concepcion ended up settling for silver. But that is a huge achievement already, considering that this is his first time to compete in the regional biennial meet. And so, despite the loss, his confidence has shot up.
“Parang tumaas ang confidence level ko kasi unang-una, naniwala ang coach (Kim Suengjun) ko sa ‘kin,” said the former UAAP Most Valuable Player with the University of the East.
“Sinasabi niya na kaya ko, so lagi kong iniisip na kaya ko. More on training lang kami ng coach ko. Laban kung laban.”
Concepcion is among the two fencers who added to the Philippines’ medal haul. The other was Samantha Catantan, who snagged the bronze in the women’s individual foil event.
Friday will be the team events, and Concepcion believes that the Filipino fencers have what it takes to strike gold on that day.
“Darating din [ang ginto] kasi lahat kami nag-prepare. ‘Yun nga lang kinapos lang kami ngayong day, pero sa next days, marami na akong teammate na ready to get the gold.”