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Fencer helps team win silver in France

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Southeast Asian Games-bound Maxine Esteban made a good account of herself in France’s most prestigious fencing tournament, helping her team win the silver medal over the weekend.

Wrapping up her two-month training in Melun, France, the 16-year-old fencer played for Melun Vale de Sine’s second team alongside French teammates Emeline Caujolle, Morgane Lhotellier and Manon Milenkovic.

Melun VDS 2 was seeded seventh in the 15-team field because Esteban could not take part in the individual event whose results served as the basis of the rankings.

Still, Melun VDS 2 won three matches to get into the final where it lost to its A-team, Melun VDS 1, 45-27.

Melun VDS 2 hurdled its opening match against 10th seed Entente, 45-14; and rallied from 30-20 down to hold off No. 2, Marseille, 45-37.

In the semifinals, Melun VDS 2 ousted third ranked Limoges CE1, 45-37.

Each team is allowed to field three fencers who each get to face the opposing players once. The first team to score 45 points or the team that is ahead after nine matches win.

“I fenced well because in almost all my bouts, I was the first to reach 5 points and in some bouts, I contributed more when our team was trailing behind so we were able to catch up,” said Esteban who will see action in the women’s individual foil in the SEA Games.

It was Esteban’s first international medal this year and 30th overall. Last year, she collected 10 medals competing in various events in Asia, the United States and Europe.

She is set to rejoin her teammates on June 5 for a tournament in Hong Kong and a month’s training in South Korea.