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PH fencers may soon train at ULTRA







Filipino athletes with scheduled Olympic qualifiers next year can soon train at the Philippine Sports Complex (formerly ULTRA) as the Philippine Sports Commission is finalizing details of its disinfection.



PSC’s Marc Velasco, who heads the agency’s Philippine Sports Institute, said Tuesday that disinfection procedure is being planned at the athletes’ quarters in preparation for their training.

“The remaining athletes at ULTRA, we asked them to vacate and return to their respective provinces because the quarters need to be disinfected,” said Velasco.

The venue in ULTRA, particularly the basketball court, has been transformed as medical facility for COVID-19 patients in a joint project by the Department of Health and the PSC.

Athletes with qualifying tournaments next year – events that were called off this year due to coronavirus pandemic – will be allowed to train and stay at the facility.

Already at ULTRA facility are two of the six fencers scheduled to compete in next year’s Asian Championship in South Korea which is a qualifier to the Tokyo Games.

They are Noelito Jose and Hanniel Abella who will compete in men’s and women’s epee events.

Fencing’s national team head coach Amat Canlas said the three are training under South Korean mentors Seungjun Kim and Sangsun Park – a gold medalist during the 2006 Asian Games.

The Korean coaches have contracts until next month.

Expected to join them are Jylyn Nicanor and Chris Jester Concepcion who are the country’s top bets in men’s/women’s saber, Nathaniel Perez and Samantha Catantan in foil event.

Nicanor won the SEAG gold medal in saber event, Concepcion and Abella earned silver medals in foil and epee, respectively, while Jose settled for bronze in men’s epee.

The 18-year-old Catantan is the reigning Asian under-23 champion.