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Esteban off to Paris carrying PH pride


Esteban off to Paris carrying PH pride

Maxine Esteban: [T]his is for the Philippines, the country my heart will always beat proud. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Maxine Esteban, a natural-born Filipino who will fence for Ivory Coast in the Paris Olympics in a few months, is entering a crucial stretch in her buildup while having the thoughts—and backing—of two nations.

“I’m very proud [because] coming into the Olympics, I’m representing both countries: the Philippines and Ivory Coast,” she said after watching Alas Pilipinas win over Australia in the Asian Volleyball Confederation Challenge Cup on Thursday night.

“You know, you can never really take away the Filipino in me and I will forever be Filipino,” she said as she ends her short vacation by watching that game and renewing a contract with giant apparel manufacturer, Anta, earlier in the day.

Anta and Esteban go way back, and the fencing prodigy is simply elated that the brand continues to support her to this day.

Esteban will head back to Germany where she trains before the homestretch of her preparations takes place in a training camp in Paris with the Japanese and French national teams.

“I’m very thankful [that] people are still supporting me and I hope that they still continue to support not only me but the rest of the Philippine delegation going to the Olympics.”

Esteban is also happy for Samantha Catantan, who qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics as the first lady Filipino fencer, and she’s hoping to fence with her fellow Filipino in the latter round of the competition.

“Everyone who qualified in the Olympics, they’re all really good fencers. Just like Sam, she would be a worthy fencer to fence against. It would be an honor to fence against her. I’m really looking forward if ever that time comes,” she said. “Hopefully, we get to meet in the finals.”

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