SEAG fencing gold medalist Samantha Catantan — SAMANTHA CATANTAN FB PAGE

SOUTHEAST Asian Games (SEAG) fencing gold medalist Samantha Catantan is dreaming the Olympic dream.

But she would need help.

“We’re asking, looking for help. This is big for fencing because of the ranking points we can earn in the tournament,” said the 20-year-old Ms. Catantan, a US NCAA Division I Penn State standout who came close to making the Tokyo Olympics last year.

The country’s top women’s foil fencer is specifically asking for assistance to fund her campaign in the World Fencing Championships slated for July 15 to 23 in Cairo, Egypt after her fund request has yet to get a response due to the transition leadership period in the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).

“If it was approved, we’ll not reach out for help because it’ll be funded by the government (PSC),” said Ms. Catantan, who delivered the country its only gold in the Hanoi Games.

“But we understand the situation of the PSC,” she added.

Ms. Catantan said she is eyeing to earn a ticket in the Paris Olympics by gaining points through the World Championships, World Cups, Asian Championships and other regional events.

In the Asian Championships last June 10 to 15, Ms. Catantan finished 13th overall in women’s foil event.

“If I’ll not join the tournament, sayang naman po ‘yung points that I got in the AFC,” said Ms. Catantan, who is hoping to raise $3,000 to be able to join World Championships — or approximately P156,000.

“That’s why I’m asking for help. I know there are private companies that love sports… that they have not just a soft spot, but the heart to help Filipino athletes like me — dreaming of becoming an Olympian,” she added. — Joey Villar