Meggie Ochoa, the Filipina grappling sensation, has proven that the Filipina won’t be left behind on the continental stage.
On Thursday at the XSL Gymnasium in Hangzhou, China, Ochoa secured her place in Filipino sports history by clinching the nation’s second gold medal at the 19th Asian Games.
The journey to this golden moment was far from easy for the resilient Filipina pride. Ochoa, who had previously faced disappointment in her Asiad campaign, executed a remarkable comeback that will be etched in the annals of her career.
The decisive moment arrived when Ochoa faced off against Abdulla Balqees of the United Arab Emirates in the women’s under-48kg Brazilian jiu-jitsu competition.
With precision and skill, Ochoa outclassed her opponent, securing the gold medal with a points victory.
Throughout her journey to the gold medal match, Ochoa showcased her mettle by defeating formidable opponents from across the continent. She overcame Mongolia’s Odgerel Baybayar, Kazakhstan’s Nazgul Rakhayeva, and Thailand’s Kacie Tan, each match bringing her one step closer to the ultimate goal.
As the final verdict was announced, Ochoa couldn’t contain her emotions. Tears of joy streamed down her face as the weight of her achievement sank in.
Ochoa, a two-time world champion in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, added this prestigious gold medal to her impressive list of achievements, which included a gold from the 2023 Asian Jiu-Jitsu Championships, two world titles, two Southeast Asian Games gold medals, and an Asian Indoor Games gold.
However, the significance of this victory in the Asian Games was unparalleled for Ochoa.
“Sobrang overwhelming kasi ang daming nangyari. As in hanggang kahapon may trangkaso ako. Akala ko hindi ko na kaya,” Ochoa bared in an interview with One Sports. “Ang dami kong ininom na gamot para lang makalaban.”
This is the Philippines’ second gold in the continental meet following EJ Obiena’s triumph in pole vault.
“Iba ito e, Asian Games. Napakaimportante nito para sa bansa so sobrang laking bagay na nagawa ko ito,” she said.