PH fighters bag 2 golds | Inquirer Sports
ASIAN BEACH GAMES

PH fighters bag 2 golds

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 12:55 AM November 15, 2014

PHUKET, Thailand—Jiu-jitsu fighters Annie Ramirez and Maybelline Masuda each  captured a gold medal Friday, breaking the Philippines’ victory drought in the Asian Beach Games and revving up the country’s campaign in the competition’s fourth staging here.
Pinned to the mat, Ramirez managed to reverse the disadvantage and submit Onanong Saengsirichok of Thailand with a cutting arm bar in the women’s -60 kg finals, silencing the noisy hometown crowd on Patong Central Beach.

“I made sure to commit fewer mistakes [during the fight],” said the 23-year-old Ramirez, a former national judoka who shifted to jiu-jitsu under the tutelage of judo icon John Baylon.

Masuda, the first Filipino world champion in the sport, piled up the points as soon as she sent Vietnam’s Le Thu Trang to the ground and never wavered for a masterful 15-0 win in the -50 kg gold-medal match.

“The Beach Games gave us the chance to show what we’ve got. I hope it will soon be included in the Olympics,” said the Fil-Japanese Masuda, who ruled the Open category of the 2009 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Championship under the guidance of wrestling head Alvin Aguilar.

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Counting the bronze Baylon pocketed in the men’s jiu-jitsu -80 kg on Thursday, the Philippines jumped to fifth place overall in the medal tally among 45 countries ahead of Friday’s opening ceremony of the games.

“Every time the Philippine flag is raised over two other countries, it’s a moment of pride and joy,” said Philippine Olympic Committee first vice president Joey Romasanta. “Our athletes definitely outdid themselves today.”

Mongolia leads in the medal tally with six gold and two bronze medals, followed by United Arab Emirates with a 4-3-3 gold-silver-bronze harvest, Pakistan (2-3-0) and Thailand (2-2–6). In all, the biennial games offers 169 gold medals in 26 sports.

“It’s very important for us to win medals in this kind of competition,” said actor Richard Gomez, the Philippine chef de mission and president of the Philippine Fencing Association. “I hope it continues in the next 10 days to inspire our athletes going to the Southeast Asian Games [in Singapore].”

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It marked the first time that the Philippines bagged a gold since the games began in 2008 Bali, Indonesia.

A total of 77 Filipino athletes is competing in 16 sports. Filipinos begin their campaign in duathlon, squash and women’s basketball on Saturday.

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Attended by 3,272 athletes, the dazzling opening rites in Saphan Hin Public Park here was a fanfare of song-and-dance performances, reaching its climax with the lighting of the games’ flame.

Masuda and Ramirez, both teary eyed during the awarding ceremony, celebrated with Philippine officials after the playing of the national anthem.

The 25-year-old Masuda won the Pan Asian International Jiu-Jitsu Championship’s Open category six times and aims to reclaim the world championship title in June next year in California.

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Ramirez, who last saw action for the national team in the 2011 SEA Games in Palembang, Indonesia, dedicated her victory to her father and said she plans to see action in more international competitions next year.

TAGS: golds, medals, Philippine, Philippines

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