Samantha Catantan came the closest to the country’s return to the Olympics in fencing, but had to settle for third place in the women’s individual foil event of the 2021 Asia Oceania Fencing Olympic Qualification Tournament, Sunday in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
With a solitary berth up for grabs, only the winner of the tournament punches a ticket to the Tokyo Summer Games later this July.
Catantan trailed after the first period and had to mount several scoring runs against top-seed Uzbek Yana Alborova in the semifinal. It was almost an impressive comeback after taking a nine-point deficit at 4-13. In the end, the Penn State freshman’s Olympic dreams ended with a 10-15 defeat.
The 19-year-old foilist took down Cheng Hsin of Chinese Taipei at 10-6 in the quarterfinals after receiving a bye in the Table of 16. She earlier ended fourth after the pools with a 5-1 win-loss record, including a 5-4 win against defending two-time Southeast Asian Games champion Amita Berthier.
The Singaporean Berthier went on to give her country the ticket to Tokyo with a dramatic 15-14 win over Alborova in the final.
Noelito Jose, on the other hand, also went close to advancing into the quarterfinals of the men’s epee after leading 13-10. However, Iraq’s Mohsin Abbas had other plans and took the one light needed to end the match after a 14-all deadlock, 15-14.
CJ Concepcion rounded up the campaign for the day after a Round of 16 loss as well in men’s sabre. Australian Alexandre Douglas edged out the University of the East product, 15-9.
SEA Games champion Jylyn Nicanor opens Team Pilipinas’ last stand as she takes the piste for women’s individual sabre at 9 a.m of Monday in Tashkent. Nathaniel Perez and Hanniel Abella then follow for men’s foil and women’s epee, respectively.