Rene Catalan’s Quest Back To The Top Starts at SEA Games

It seems like rest is not in the vocabulary of ONE Championship Strawweight contender Rene “The Challenger” Catalan.

Hungry for redemption after losing in his World Title bid against ONE Strawweight kingpin Joshua “The Passion” Pacio at ONE: MASTERS OF FATE in Manila last earlier this month, Catalan turns his focus to the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in Manila.

The 40-year-old will be representing the country in Sambo in the biennial games which will kick off from 30 November to 11 December.

“Losing in my first World Title bid hurts because I know that I trained hard for that match. But that’s part of being an athlete. I gained a lot of experience from there and I am ready to work my way to the top and compete once more,” Catalan said.

“Now, my focus is on the SEA Games because I want to bring home another gold medal to the Philippines. It will also give me the necessary momentum heading to 2020 because I have a lot of plans for next year.”

Winning medals for his country is nothing new for Catalan. He snagged gold in the 2005 edition of the regional meet when he competed in Wushu and then reached bigger heights a year later when he won gold in the 2006 Asian Games in Doha in the same sport.

That was also the year where Catalan was named as the Philippine Sportswriters Association Athlete of the Year, showing that the Iloilo City native has done it all when donning the Philippine colors.

13 years later, Catalan looks to capture the magic of that once more.

“Winning the gold medal in the SEA Games will only prove the winning mentality that I always had, and it will show much I am hungry for more victories.”

But despite his eagerness to win, Catalan refuses to look past his Southeast Asian counterparts who will certainly have him as the barometer when it comes to winning.

“There won’t be an easy match here but if you come in prepared, you’ll have a better chance of winning. I know they will come at me hard, but they’ll see the difference of my mentality when we meet,” Catalan stated.

“What’s important is to take home the gold for my country which will only give me more confidence when I go back to ONE next year.”

Author: Robert Belen

Robert Belen is a long-time combat sports writer for dSource Boxing. An avid sports fan, he knows no fear nor partiality in his reporting. If you have a problem with him, tell it to his face. (We bid you not.) You can follow him on Twitter @robertbelen

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