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Fencer Esteban remains upbeat

Maxine Esteban
Top Filipina fencer Maxine Esteban is longing for the day to get back to face-to-face training for the 31st SEA Games. FIE photo

MAXINE Esteban, one of the top Philippine women’s fencers, is longing for the day to get back to face-to-face training for the 31st Southeast Asian Games.

With bubble training on hold and is plotting for a July 1 start, frustration has set in for Esteban, who captured the bronze medal in the women’s team foil event in the biennial meet which the country hosted in 2019.

ANG LAPIT NA NG SEA GAMES TAS WALA PA TRAINING,” Esteban recently posted through her Twitter account with a pleading face emoji.

Unlike her fellow foil athlete Samantha Catantan, who in the past two months has played in the US NCAA as a Penn State freshman and in the 2021 World Junior and Cadet Fencing Championships in Cairo, Egypt, the 20-year old Esteban has not competed for more than a year.

Esteban last saw action in the UAAP fencing tournament in February 2020, where her school Ateneo placed third.

This year’s UAAP competition was scrapped due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Early in the lockdown last year, Esteban was able to collect P500,000 which she used to buy supplies for frontliners and affected communities affected by the pandemic and launched a fundraiser last November to help young Filipino continue their education through online learning.

Despite the agonizing wait for the start of training for the Vietnam Games set on Nov. 21-Dec. 2, Esteban remains upbeat that the athletes will continue to work hard even though they are only doing virtual workouts to stay in shape.

“to my fellow athletes, KAPIT LANG! KAYA NATEN TOH! #SEAGames2021” Esteban posted with a prayer and Philippine flag emoji on Twitter.

A UAAP Season 81 Rookie of the Year who led the Lady Eagles in winning the championship in 2018, Esteban is currently the country’s top female fencer in foil with a current world ranking of 122nd place