By REY BANCOD
Four Southeast Asian Games-bound fencers made it to the Round of 32 before bowing out of the individual foil competition of the Asian fencing championships Friday in Hong Kong.
Maxine Esteban and Samantha Kyle Catantan advanced to the women’s 64-man draw by posting 3-3 win-loss records in their respective pools.
The 16-year-old Esteban, competing in the tougher group, stunned Amita Berthier of Singapore, 5-3, for one of her three victories.
Berthier won the bronze medal in this year’s World Cadet Championships.
Her other wins came at the expense of Prakash Awati of India, 5-3, and Yu Li Chun of Chinese-Taipei, 5-2.
Esteban bowed to Asian Under-23 champion Fu Yi Ting of China, 5-0; Rio Olympic silver medalist Nam Hyunhee of South Korea, 5-3; and world junior titlist Kikuchi Komaki of Japan, 5-1.
In the 64-man main draw, Esteban clobbered Motahareh Mohseni of Iran, 17-5, but was eliminated by Moira Shaito of Lebanon, 15-11.
The 15-year-old Catantan, on the other hand, won over Rita Prakasham of Sri Lanka, 5-0; Ho Ka U of Macau, 5-2; and Wong Tatiana Yu Rong of Singapore, 5-4.
Catantan lost to Korean Jeon Hee Sook, 5-1; Cheng Hsin of Chinese-Taipei, 5-3; and Kimberley Vanessa Cheung of Hong Kong, 5-2.
Like Esteban, Catantan hurdled her first assignment in the main draw at the expense of Anis Sabrina Yahya of Brunei, 15-6, but lost to Fu Yiting of China, 13-8.
Dyren Faith Penaflor, the third Filipino entry, lost all her six matches in the preliminaries and failed to qualify for the main draw.
Huo Xingxin of China won the event, beating Nam Hyunhee of South Korea, 15-6, in the final.
In the men’s event, Nathaniel Perez and Louie Brennan Wayne also advanced to the main draw.
After drawing a bye, Perez lost to Chen Tse Yuan of Chinese-Taipei, 15-11.
Wayne, on the other hand, disposed of Hsu Shuo Ting of Chinese-Taipei, 15-7, before being eliminated by Korean Heo Jun 15-7.
Michael Nicanor, the other Filipino entry, won only one game in the preliminaries and failed to make in the knockout phase.
Korean Ha Taegyu won the men’s crown by beating Cheung Ka Long of Hong Kong, 15-11.
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