FILE – Samantha Kyle Catantan of the Philippines (right) competes with Singaporean Amita Marie Nicolette Berthi in the women’s individual foil final of the 29th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in Kuala Lumpur on August 21, 2017 . / AFP PHOTO / Adek BERRY

MANILA, Philippines – After nearly booking a ticket to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Filipino fencing star Sam Catantan has no doubts that she has what it takes to finally make it to the Summer Games.

In the recent Asia-Oceania Olympic qualifiers in Uzbekistan, Catantan was one win away from the final round, but lost to hometown bet Yana Alborova in the semifinals.

“The Olympic qualifiers have really become a great motivation for me to do this and for us to reach the Olympics,” Cantantan said in Filipino Tuesday at the PSA Forum.

Alborova then lost to Singaporean Amitha Berthier in the final for the gold medal and a place at the Games.

From now on, the Cantan, 19, already has the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris in her sights.

However, she also knows that she can’t completely lose her focus on what’s to come with the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam, scheduled for November.

Catantan, who has just completed an impressive first season at Penn State University, will compete in the SEA Games qualifier in Ormoc next month.

“The moment I got here at Penn State I saw how the Americans and other shooters from another country play and they play with such confidence. And believing in yourself, your game and your coaches really makes a big difference, ”she said.

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