Samantha Catantan fell inches short in her bid at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after settling for third place in the senior women foil’s event of the 2021 Asia Oceania Fencing Olympic Qualification Tournament, Sunday in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

/ 27 April 2021

The former University of the East (UE) star had failed to punch a ticket in the 2020 Olympics after losing to Yana Alborova of Uzbekistan, 15-10, in the semis which only the winner of the tournament can compete in the Tokyo Summer Games later this July.

Catantan trailed almost for an impressive comeback against top-seed Alborova after closing out nine points, 4-13, but had bowed to 10-15 defeat.

The Penn State freshman defeated Cheng Hsin of Chinese Taipei at 10-6 in the quarterfinals after receiving a bye in the Table of 16.

She entered the round of 16 as the fourth seed with a 5-1 win-loss record, including a 5-4 win against defending two-time Southeast Asian Games champion Amita Berthier.

Then, Alborova went on to lose to Singapore’s Amita Berthier in the finals, 15-14, in which the Singaporean Berthier secured the lone ticket to Tokyo at stake in the competition.

On the other hand, Noelito Jose, who finished 11th in men’s epee, came close to advancing into the quarterfinals of the men’s epee but fell short to Iraq’s Mohsin Abbas, 15-14, in the round of 16.

Christian Concepcion ended 10th overall in the men’s sabre after losing to Alexandre Douglas of Australia, 15-9, in the round of 16.

SEA Games champion Jylyn Nicanor is Team Pilipinas’ last hope as she will be seeing action for women’s individual sabre at 9 a.m on Monday in Tashkent, followed by Nathaniel Perez and Hanniel Abella for men’s foil and women’s epee, respectively.

Only one ticket to Tokyo is offered per event.