Paris Olympics

Filipino fencers get one last crack at Paris Olympics

Delfin Dioquino

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Filipino fencers get one last crack at Paris Olympics

STALWART. Noelito Jose of the Philippine fencing team.

Noelito Jose Facebook page

Noelito Jose, Samantha Catantan, Hanniel Abella, and Nathaniel Perez hope to follow in the footsteps of Walter Torres, the last fencer to represent the Philippines in the Olympics back in 1992

MANILA, Philippines – It has been over three decades since a fencer represented the Philippines in the Olympics.

Noelito Jose and the national fencing team hope to end that prolonged drought as they compete in the Asia-Oceania Zonal Qualifying Tournament set to run in Dubai from April 27 to 28 for one last crack at the Paris Olympics.

Together with Jose (men’s epee), Samantha Catantan (women’s foil), Nathaniel Perez (men’s foil) and Hanniel Abella (women’s epee) seek to clinch the lone Olympic berth up for grabs in their respective categories in Dubai.

“It will not be easy but it is not impossible,” said Jose in Filipino on Wednesday, April 10. “We’ve prepared well for this competition.”

The four have been hard at work as they look to follow in the footsteps of Walter Torres, the last Filipino fencer to reach the Olympics when he took part in the 1992 Barcelona Games.

Former national team standout Maxine Esteban already punched her ticket to Paris, but she is now representing African nation Ivory Coast.

Jose and Abella are currently in South Korea for training, while Catantan gears up in the United States after recently wrapping up her campaign in the NCAA Fencing Championships, where she finished 10th for Penn State University.

Perez also saw action in the United States in a Grand Prix last March.

As the four fine-tune their skills with the remaining time they have left before the Olympics, Jose said being in the right frame of mind will also determine their fate.

“It is not just about what you can do physically. Your attitude during the competition will create a huge impact,” Jose said.

Dreaming for Paris

Qualifying for the Olympics is the only feat Jose has yet to tick off his bucket list as he already achieved his other goals.

Once only dreaming to be part of the national fencing team, Jose accomplished that and then some as he won medals in the last three Southeast Asian Games, bagging bronze in 2019 and a pair of silvers in 2021 and 2023.

Jose said he is determined to reach Paris before he hangs up his spurs.

“Before I retire – because it is exhausting to train every day, not just physically but also mentally and emotionally – I told myself I want to make the Olympics. Of course, I also want to medal,” said Jose.

“I need to achieve that because you train to become better and to achieve your goals. That is my next goal: to make the Olympics.” –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!
Person, Human, Clothing


Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.