SEA Games: Sam Catantan wins first fencing gold for PH

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FILE – Samantha Catantan of the Philippines (R) competes against Singapore’s Amita Marie Nicolette Berthi during the women’s foil individual final of the 29th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in Kuala Lumpur on August 21, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Adek BERRY

MANILA, Philippines — Samantha Catantan won the first gold medal for the Philippines fencing team at the 31st Southeast Asian Games on Saturday in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Catantan outlasted Singapore’s Maxine Jie Xin Wong with a thrilling 14-12 win in the women’s individual foil final at the Hanoi Indoor Games Palace.

The Filipino fencer, who settled for bronze in the 2019 biennial encounter, completed a dominant title run, including a masterful 15-4 victory over Thailand’s Chayabutphat Shinnakerdchoke in the semi-finals.

Wong beat compatriot Kemei Cheung, 15-10, in their all-Singaporean semi-final duel to retire past Catantan and settle for silver.

Meanwhile, Noelito Jose Jr. settled for silver after losing to Nhat Nguyen Tien, 15-11, in the men’s individual epee final.

It was Jose’s only loss in the contest after dominating I Jie Koh of Malaysia, 15-5, in the semi-finals and defeating Jian Tong Si To, 15-12 in the elimination.

He also beat Thailand’s Nattiphong Singkham and Vietnam’s Den Nguyen Phuoc with a pair of 5-1 wins in the preliminaries. However, his compatriot, Jian Miguel Bautista failed to qualify in the men’s epee medal match.

Maxine Esteban was also eliminated in the women’s foil elimination round after losing to Cheung, 10-15.

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