THE national fencing team to the 30th SEA Games will not settle for anything less than winning the overall title on home soil.
The last time the Philippines hosted the biennial event in 2005, local fencers emerged as overall champions with five gold, five silver and a couple of bronze medals.
“That´s our aim. We are targeting three to four gold medals. We want all our fencers to win medals. If not the gold, then a silver or bronze,” coach Rolando Canlas Jr. said in yesterday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at the Amelie Hotel in Manila.
Fencing will be staged at the World Trade Center in Pasay City from Dec. 3 to 8. A total of 12 gold medals will be disputed by fencers from nine countries — men’s and women’s individual and team events in foil, epee and sabre.
Canlas, a gold and bronze medalist in 2005, is confident the 24-member national team will deliver.
“With help from the Philippine Sports Commission, they were provided with everything from foreign exposure, foreign coach, nutrition, conditioning and sports psychology. They are all excited,” he added.
The country´s top fencers, including Noelito Jose Jr., Nathaniel Perez, CJ Concepcion, Nicole Cortey and reigning Asian Under-23 champion Samantha Catantan graced the forum presented by San Miguel Corp., Braska Restaurant, Amelie Hotel and Pagcor.