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SEA Games: Philippine Fencing Team Eyes Quadruple Gold

The Philippine fencing team is aiming for no less than the overall title in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
IMAGE Gabby Jimenez
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Members of the Philippine fencing team are aiming for no less than the overall title in the 30th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), which will be hosted by the country starting November 30.

“We are targeting three to four golds,” said head coach Rolando Canlas, Jr. in a forum hosted by the Philippine Sportswriters Association at the Amelie Hotel in Manila on Tuesday. “We want all our fencers to win medals. If not the gold, then a silver or bronze,” said Canlas.

The Philippine fencing team is composed of 24 members, including top fencers Noelito Jose Jr., Nathaniel Perez, CJ Concepcion, Nicole Cortey, and Samantha Catantan, the reigning champion in the Asian U-23.

In the 2015 SEA Games, the Filipino fencers failed to secure any gold, but settled for silvers. This year, Canlas is confident that the nationals will deliver, thanks to the robust support they received from government.

“With help from the Philippine Sports Commission, they were provided with everything from foreign exposure, foreign coach, nutrition, conditioning and sports psychology. They really improved a lot. The confidence level is very high. When we compete overseas, even the Koreans are now taking videos of our fencers,” said Canlas.

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Fencing competitions will be held at the World Trade Center in Pasay from December 3 to 8. Only 12 gold medals will be awarded to fencers from nine countries. 

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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