Three-time Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) champion Annie Ramirez will lead the Philippine jiu-jitsu team in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. Ramirez ruled the SEAG -55kg category in Manila (2019), -62kg category in Vietnam (2022) and 57kg category in Cambodia in May. Eight gold medals are at stake in the ju-jitsu competition which will be held at the Xiaoshan Linpu Gymnasium from Oct. 5 to 7. Also going to the Asian Games scheduled to unfurl Sept. 23 are Meggie Ochoa and Jollirine Co (-48kg), Jenna Kaila Napolis and Mariella Rafael (-52kg), and Andrea Lois Lao (-63kg) in the women’s division. The men’s lineup is composed of Marc Alexander Lim and Myron Myles Mangubat (-62kg), Michael Bryant Tiu (-69kg), Gerard Gallos (-77kg) and Dean Michael Roxas (-85kg). The 13 athletes will be accompanied by coaches Allan Co, John Baylon and Stephen Kamphuis, Jiu-Jitsu Federation of the Philippines Inc. president Ferdinand Agustin (head of delegation) and secretary general Antonio Sulit Jr., and Joshua Abella (team manager). As preparation for the Asian Games, the national athletes joined the Ju-Jitsu International Federation World Championships in Ulaanbaatar City, Mongolia last month. “We have been building up for this event (Asian Games) during the year. We just have to believe in ourselves and stay in that zone,” Kamphuis told the Philippine News Agency on Sunday, when asked about the Filipinos’ medal chances in Hangzhou. Baylon, a nine-time SEAG gold medalist in judo, joined the jiu-jitsu coaching staff this year and is credited for honing Ramirez’s potentials further. Aside from Ramirez, the other Cambodia SEAG medalists in the team are Napolis and Lim (gold), Ochoa (silver) and Mangubat (bronze). Ochoa has won four World Championships titles. She is a two-time Asian Championships winner, a bronze medalist at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia and a gold medalist at the 2016 Asian Beach Games in Vietnam.
Source: Philippines News Agency