Martial artists, obstacle bets keep Team PH fourth overall in SEA Games 2023
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia—Jamie Lim felt a lot of skepticism the past year after a bungled attempt to keep her karate title in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, doubts that she kept in her chest until a redeeming performance Sunday in the 32nd edition in this Cambodian capital restored all faith in itself.
“It’s still sinking in. My last gold was in 2019. It seems ages ago and then last year was hard and I had to accept the defeat,” Lim, the daughter of PBA great Samboy Lim, said after defeating Cambodia’s Vann Chakriya, 3 -1, for the women’s 61kilogram (kg) gold in the kumite event. “I was off for almost a year and worked my way again.”
Lim had to take a break from her masters class in London to prepare for this event.
“Last year, I injured my hand and I also got a black eye from one of my fights. That loss was the most painful,” said Lim, referring to a first-round setback against Vietnamese Thi Ngoan Nguyen in Hanoi.
She destroyed Nguyen this time, scoring a 5-0 win, before beating Malaysia’s Siti Nur Azwani Nor, 6-3, to arrange the title match with the home bet that Lim had to beat in a very hostile environment.
“I’m absent for three weeks [from classes]but all of the hard work paid off and it’s worth it.”
Team Philippines has amassed 13 golds aside from 19 silvers and 21 bronzes (as of 8 pm Sunday) across eight sports to be fourth overall, with Noelle Catindig and Princess Catindig contributing a mint with a victory in the women’s soft tennis doubles finals over Thailand siblings Chatmanee Jankiaw and Napawee Jankiaw.
So far, host Cambodia is making a killing with 27 gold, 21 silver and 23 bronze medals while running second overall is Indonesia (16-11-24) and Thailand at third (15-16-21).
Vietnam is breathing down the Filipinos’ necks at fifth with 12 golds, 18 silvers and 26 bronzes
Another Lim wins
Another martial artist, Jiu-jitsu fighter Marc Alexander Lim, has the same feeling of redemption finally reaching the top of his weight category.
The 26-year-old from Davao City was a silver medalist in the men’s 69kg back in the 2019 SEA Games in Manila and got downgraded in Hanoi 2022 with a bronze, before winning it all this time around.
“I’ve been through a lot of silvers and bronzes in my career. This was simply the result of my strong determination to win,” said Lim after submitting Vietnam’s Dang Dinh Tung in the finals.
It’s a win that made up for a sorry loss that Meggie Ochoa absorbed in the gold-medal finale against Cambodian local hero Jessa Khan in the female nogi-52kg.
Meggie goes down
WATCH: Meggie Ochoa is carried off the mat after suffering a left knee injury in her gold-medal match against Cambodia’s Jessa Khan in the women’s 52kg jiujitsu. #SEAGames2023 | @junavINQ pic.twitter.com/9JDa72y1Hz
— INQUIRER Sports (@INQUIRERSports) May 7, 2023
Khan, who lost to Kaila Napolis in the Gi-52kg class on Thursday, redeemed herself in front of a wildly cheering home crowd after submitting Ochoa via a knee bar early in the second round.
“It was my left knee, but I can manage,” said Ochoa, the women’s 48kg champion last year in Vietnam who was carried off the mat and settled for the silver medal.
Lim’s victory was the third gold medal for the national jiujitsu squad in these games, including the triumph of Annie Ramirez on Saturday in the women’s nogi-57kg.
“We trained in the United States for six weeks, honored our skills against some of the best fighters there and got rewarded for it,” said Lim.
While these fighters basked in the limelight of the frigid Chroy Changvar Convention Hall, obstacle racing at the venue’s carpark practically became a playground for Filipino racers.
Team Philippines completed a sweep of all four gold medals in the physically demanding sport.
Mervin Guarte, Ahgie Radan, Elias Tabac and Jay-r De Castro capped the nation’s scintillating performance in the sport with a victory in the men’s relay on Sunday.
The Filipinos clocked 24.47 seconds in the 100m race while Malaysia checked in at 25.15 seconds for the silver.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896-6000.