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Fencing bet wins bronze in HK

Southeast Asian Games-bound Maxine Isabel Esteban took the bronze medal in the President’s Cup Open fencing championships that concluded Sunday in Hong Kong.

Fresh from her first-ever stint in the world fencing championships in Leipzig, Germany, the 16-year-old fencer was the lone Filipino medalist in the two-day international event.

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Esteban topped her group, winning five of six matches to reach the knockout phase.

Seeded sixth, Esteban drew a bye in the first round before disposing of Kelly Ho Long Sze of Hong Kong, 15-11.

In the quarterfinals, Esteban survived another close match, edging third-ranked Lee Areta of HK, 15-14.

In a virtual preview of the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Esteban bowed to Singapore No. 1 Nicole Wong, 15-4.

Wong, however, lost to top seed Liu Yan Wai, 15-14, in the final.

“I’m very happy. It was a very hard tournament,” Esteban said.

Samantha Kyle Catalan, the other Filipino entry in the event, was eliminated in the Round of 16. She was beaten by Cheng Hiu Lam of HK, 8-7.

Esteban went straight to HK to join her teammates following her appearance in the world stage where she failed to make the draw after winning only two of five matches in the preliminaries.

The other Filipino fencers failed to advance past the quarterfinals.

Harlene Raguin and Hanniel Abella were eliminated in the Last 16 of the women’s epee event.

Raguin went down to No. 1 Lin Yik Hei Coco of HK, 15-9, while Abella was showed the door by Lim Yu Yan of Singapore, 15-12.

In the women’s sabre, No. 4 Jylyn Nicanor was knocked off in the Last 8 by Lee Huimin Ann of Singapore, 15-11.
Clichelleyn del Rosario, on the other hand, was sent home by Chang Karen Ngai, 15-8.

Among the men, brothers Reynaldo and Nathaniel Perez were ousted in the Round of 16.

Reynaldo lost to Fong Hoi Sun, 15-6, in men’s epee while Nathaniel yielded to Sin Kwan Kit, 15-10, in men’s foil.

In men’s sabre, Donnie Arth Navarro and Eric Brando lost their Last 32 matches at the hands of Chow Chak Man (15-14) and Li Hiu Kit (15-12), respectively.

The fencers are in Hong Kong for a three-week training session in preparation for the SEA Games.