Samantha Catantan (right) hopes private companies will help fund her Olympic dreams. —AFP

Samantha Catantan (right) hopes private companies will help fund her Olympic dreams. —AFP

After her golden foray in the recent 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, embarking on a quest to the 2024 Paris Olympics is the next step for fencing ace Samantha Catantan.

But without any financial support, the Olympic dream of the 20-year-old Penn State athletic scholar might hit a snag.

Catantan, no doubt the country’s top woman fencer after gifting the national fencing team its only gold medal in the Hanoi SEA Games, needs to participate in the World Fencing Championships on July 15 to July 23 in Cairo, Egypt, to keep her Paris ambition alive.

“If I don’t join that tournament, the [Olympic qualifying] points that I gained in the AFC (Asian Fencing Championships) could be wasted,’’ said Catantan, who collected valuable ranking points after placing 13th in the women’s foil during the AFC last June 10 to June 15 in Seoul, South Korea.

Catantan, who is raising $3,000 (roughly P165,000) for the Cairo trip, said she needs to participate in the Cairo meet to further jack up her ranking points.

“That’s why I’m asking for help. I know there are private companies that love sports. They don’t just have a soft spot for those in need, but the heart to help Filipino athletes like me who dream of becoming an Olympian,’’ said Catantan.

The request of the national fencing team for Catantan’s funding has no response yet from the Philippine Sports Commission, which will enter a process of transition on Thursday from the current administration to the new one under incoming President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. INQ

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