Samantha Catantan

Philippine fencing team mainstay Samantha Catantan will lead a strong 22-man national squad that will see action in the 2022 FIE Junior & Cadet Fencing World Championship at the Hamdan Sports Complex on April 2 to 10 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Catantan, gold medalist in women’s foil event during the 2019 Under-23 Asian Fencing Championship, will try to improve from her 20th place finish in last year’s event in Cairo, Egypt. The 20-year-old fencer of Penn State University will also use the tournament as preparation for this year’s Hanoi Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam this May, and the Hangzhou Asian Games in China this September

Aside from the 20-year-old Catantan, also competing in the world championship junior’s category are John Francis “Tipoy” Felipe of men’s foil and Sandro Antonio Sia of men’s sabre – both national team members in the biennial meet SEA Games and the quadrennial tourney Asian Games.

Rolando “Amat” Canlas Jr. said that competing in the world championship is important for the preparation of the three fencers in their quest to perform well in the coming tournaments.

“This is a very good opportunity for our fencers to really measure against the top young fencers in the world. It’s also a chance for our three members of the national team in the Hanoi SEA Games – Sam, Tipoy and Sandro – to get that additional experience to prepare them for the coming meet,” said Canlas.

The cadet category is for 13-17 years old while the junior’s is for 18-20 years old participants.

Also part of the team are US-based fencers Daena Talavera and Annika Bea Santos in women’s foil, Samantha Sayson in women’s epee, Matthew Gonzalez in men’s foil and Zachary Suico in men’s epee. Last year in Cairo, Talavera placed seventh in women’s foil cadet, which surpassed the previous best finish for a Filipino of 16th place by Catantan during the 2019 edition in Poland.

As for the ‘homegrown’ fencers, joining the team are Keonn Davies, Clyde Guinto and Antonio Manuel in men’s foil cadet, Marina Carbonell, Venice Villenas and Jinsei Dela Serna in women’s foil cadet. In the men’s sabre junior’s, set to fence are Enrico Suplico, Ram Jimenez and Andrei Agatep, while in the women’s sabre junior’s are Kaikaku Dela Serna, Meagan Co Say and Andrea Sayson, who is based in Singapore.

Jose Faber Cabrera will see action in the cadet and junior’s level of men’s epee. “We are all excited, the locals coming from the Philippines and the Fil-foreign fencers to show what the Filipinos can do when it comes to being competitive in fencing. We hope to do well and make the country proud,” said Canlas.

Source: Manila Bulletin (