Fencer Samantha Catantan now clearly understands that the difference between getting to the Olympics and missing the trip is primarily maturity and experience.
But the 19-year-old has also discovered that the thin line between winning and losing in fencing is courage.
“The more you compete, the more confident you become,” Mardi Catantan said in Filipino at the Philippine Sports Writers Association forum. “I just feel like we weren’t as confident as other shooters in other countries.”
Catantan recently missed the reservation for the scheduled trip to the Tokyo Olympics after settling for a bronze medal in a loss to Russia’s Yana Alborova in the medal round of the Asia-Oceania Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Uzbekistan.
CJ Concepcion also failed in his men’s epee bid after withdrawing from competition against Australia’s Alexandre Douglas in the round of 16 of qualifying, where only gold medalists in three events – foil, epee and saber – got the remaining places for Tokyo.
The missed opportunity in the women’s individual foil, however, only accentuated Catantan’s desire to be on this plan for the next Olympic Games in 2024 in Paris.
“This is my first time in an Olympic qualification. Other countries have the experience, but that doesn’t mean you can’t beat them, ”said Catantan, who helped Penn State University clinch United States NCAA Fencing Championship honors. two months ago.
“You have to be mentally prepared to win. If I want to be in Paris, I have to start preparing now, ”added the 2019 Southeast Asian Games (SEA) bronze medalist and Siklab Sports Youth award winner.
Recognizing that reaching the goal is a gradual process, one of Catantan’s immediate priorities at the moment is to win the gold medal at the SEA Games.
Filipino head fencing coach Rolando “Amat” Canlas, who discovered Catantan when she was just 9 years old competing at a club in Quezon City, has already made plans not just for the prized athlete. sport, but also for the whole team.
“We learned a lot in (Olympic) qualifying,” Canlas said.
The team destined for the Vietnam SEA Games at the end of the year has already set up its camp in Ormoc City. INQ
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