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Sacrifices pay off for PH women’s epee team as the Nationals clinch gold


The women’s fencing team of Harlene Raguin, Hanniel Abella, Anna Gabriella Estimada and Mickyle Rein Bustos claimed the gold medal following a 45-38 win against Singapore in epee event of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games Friday at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.



Abella, the 26-year-old silver medal winner in the individual epee category, delivered the deciding points for the Philippines, which now has a total of two gold medals, two silvers and six bronzes.

The win also marked the first time for the epee team to capture the gold in the biennial meet.

“Ako sobrang memorable para sakin ito, kasi dapat magre-retire na ako,” said the 36-yea-old Raguin, whose first SEA Games stint was in 2003 Hanoi. “Pero pina-balik nila ako para tulungan yung team. This is a very good exit for me.”

“Sobrang saya, kasi nagbunga lahat ng sakripisyo namin,” said the 31-year-old Estimada. “Iba sa amin took a leave sa work, and then yung isa sa amin (Abella) nag-resign. She gave up on her dream job just to focus on fencing.”

The national team defeated Vietnam in the semifinals 44-33, while Singapore defeated Thailand 45-37 in the other semifinal pairing. Vietnam and Thailand both earned bronze medals.

The team’s win gave the Philippines its second gold medal after Jylyn Nicaor delivered the first with a come-from-behind triumph in women’s individual sabre last Thursday.

Philippine Fencing Association president and Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez commended the history-making win.

“I’m very happy kasi historic ito for women’s team epee. This is the first time na makapanalo ang women’s team epee ng isang gold,” said Gomez. “The last gold na nakuha ng women’s individual was way back in 1993 Singapore SEA Games pa.

“Pero hindi pa kami tapos, meron pang two events (team competitions tomorrow, Sunday in foil and epee), and we’re hoping na we’ll clinch more medals, hopefully gold makuha namin.”