Starting the fencing season strong, Chinoy athlete Maxine Esteban seized silver in the women’s individual foil event at the FIE Senior Satellite World Cup in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
The competition, held last September 26 (Sunday), was Esteban’s first international outing in two years, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Despite her absence from the global circuit, she showed no signs of being out of practice, and in fact, displayed her best showing yet.
Esteban, as the highest-ranked fencer of the tournament, was considered to be the event’s top seed. This allowed her a bye to the quarterfinals, where she first defeated hometown bet Komila Mirzaeva. Esteban then beat one of Uzbekistan’s top fencers, Umida Ilyosova, during their semifinal bout but lost against Italy’s Marta Cammilletti in the championship round.
“This is my best result,” shared Esteban to CHiNOY TV. Not only is she the first Filipina to earn a silver medal at a FIE senior satellite world cup, but she is also the top-ranked fencing athlete of the country. Her second-place finish will also improve her world ranking.
“I am happy that I am able to fence in the international scene again,” said Esteban. “I’m happy with the results, but losing in the final round also motivated me to train harder. I know I have a long way to go.”
Results from training abroad
Although Maxine Esteban is also a full-time senior student at the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), online classes have allowed her an opportunity to train at the Comense Scherma in Como, Italy.
“It’s a very good club with a lot of high-level fencers. I like the place, and I also like the people,” said Esteban.
When asked about her day-to-day routine, Esteban revealed, “Daily training comprises one hour of lessons, one hour of strengthening [exercises], and around three hours of free fencing. I usually spend the graveyard shift doing synchronous classes for Ateneo until around mid-morning. Then I sleep until around 4 PM and go to training.”
So far, the rigorous schedule has produced promising results. Esteban hopes to maintain the momentum for the rest of the season, which she aims to pack with competitions from all around Europe.
Esteban will next see action at the FIE Senior World Satellite Cup in Copenhagen, Denmark on October 10. If allowed by the Italian and French federations, she will also participate in both the Italian and French national championships, which will be held on October 31 to November 1 and November 27-28, respectively. She will then proceed to the Senior World Cup in St. Maur, France on December 21.
“I’m coming home to celebrate Christmas and New Year with my family, but I’m leaving in the first week of January for more World Cups and Grand Prix [events]. I’m looking forward to all of these,” shared Esteban, excitedly.