SEA Games 2019: Jiu-Jitsu off to a good start
10 December 2019
By Angelina Dass
Singapore’s jiu-jitsu contingent enjoyed a flying start on the sport’s first day of competition at the 30th Southeast Asian Games, winning four medals at the LausGroup Event Centre in New Clark City.
Noah celebrates his gold medal win and thanked his mother and brother for their support.
Monday’s (9 Dec) haul include gold for Noah Lim who beat Thailand's Suwijak Kuntong via submission in the men’s 62kg final. Benjamin Chia Jie Jun took the silver in the 85kn final after losing by submission to Dean Michael Roxas of the Philippines. Paul Lim and Teh May Yong both won the bronze medal in the men’s 69kg and women’s 49kg event respectively.
Noah Lim, 17, said he was expecting nothing less than the gold medal as he, and the rest of the contingent, have been “working very hard”. Training included sessions at a Mixed Martial Arts gym and a US national training camp where the team got the chance to train with jiu-jitsu black belts Gabriel Arges, Jason Hunt and Isaac Doederlin, and world champion Edwin Najmi.
Paul, who was not satisfied with his silver, in action against his opponent
While thanking his supporters, Noah paid special tribute to his mother who is his “number 1 supporter”, and his brother, the bronze medallist of the 69kg men’s event.
“He (Paul) is the one who inspired me to start training in the first place and he's my best training partner. He's super talented and lost a very close match today but I know he will win in the future. He's one of the best athletes I know and I'm excited for his future,” said Noah, a student at Anglo Chinese School (Independent).
Benjamin in action against his Filipino opponent who caught him off guard and scored two points.
May Yong, 25, said in the hours leading up to her match, she had studied her opponent, Indonesia’s Amalia Nura, closely.
“I watched her previous match against the Philippines and was looking out for any weaknesses. I decided to use the same submission technique that the Filipino did to her in her previous match,” said the former national long-distance runner.
May Yong, who is a naval officer, added that she had somewhat expected the medal as she had studied the draws and athletes before the fights as well as looked at the probability of who would win and who she would meet.
“Then I planned out my game accordingly,” she said.
With this bronze in hand, she is looking ahead with hopes to qualify for the 2022 Asian Games.
Speaking of his silver medal win, Benjamin said it was somewhat of a letdown as he was set on gold.
“Whenever I sign up for a competition, I always believe that I will beat everyone. We must all have a champion mindset thinking that no one works harder than us,” said the 21-year-old.
May taking down her Indonesian opponent in the bronze medal match.
“I’ve worked hard for this competition and I believed in myself so greatly that I could win it but my opponent was the better man today.”
The 1.8m tall exponent said that he was caught off-guard by his Filipino opponent who managed to score two points.
“Even though that happened, I remained composed and kept trying to put him into my game. It was the last few moments of the fight where I tried to come up to score 2 points but my opponent caught me in a toe hold submission, forcing me to tap out,” he explained.
Although the loss was a bitter pill to swallow, Benjamin is excited to get home to work on honing his fighting skills.
“I found many holes in my game that I need to improve on and I can’t wait to get home to work on them,” he said.
May poses with her medal.
Another Singaporean athlete, Jack Tran, placed fourth after he lost his 56kg bronze medal match to Thailand’s Keadnind Komrit by the score of 6-2.