SEA Games 2019- Jiu-Jitsu's Constance serves up a golden finish
12 December 2019
By Angelina Dass
Constance Lien came to the 30th Southeast Asian Games with only one goal in mind, that of delivering gold for Team Singapore.
Constance Lim, a former sports school swimmer, in action at the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
On the final day of competition at the Games (10 Dec), the jiu-jitsu exponent stepped up and achieved her pre-Games target by beating Vietnam’s Ngoc Tu Nguyen by submission in the Under-62kg event.
A silver medallist at the Asian Games 2018, Lien had earlier beat Thailand’s Orapa Senatham 27 points to 0 to reach the semi-finals. There she beat Jessica Eppinger of the Philippines by submission to set up a meeting with Ngoc in the finals held at the LausGroup Events Centre, San Fernando City.
Constance Lim clinches gold after beating Vietnam’s Ngoc Tu Nguyen by submission.
Commenting after the win, the 20-year-old said it has been a roller-coaster of emotions though she feels very blessed to have achieved her goal.
She said she felt very blessed and that even though her training camp was very tough, she is so thankful that her family, friends, teammates, association and coaches at Evolve really helped her through it.
Lien’s gold medal was one of three won on the final day of competition, the second gold for jiu-jitsu, and the last of Singapore’s 57 gold medals at these Games.
In other jiu-jitsu action, Kwan Yan Wei picked up a joint-bronze medal in the Under-77kg category when he was unable to beat Philippines Adrian Guggenheim while Fiona Toh also settled for bronze in the women's Under-55kg category.
Kwan Yan Wei in action on Tuesday (10 Dec) when he picked up a bronze medal.
Yan Wei, 32, had been confident of a silver or a gold but did not get the luck of the draw as he was matched with eventual winner Adrian, who was a bronze medallist in the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship.
“It was a good match and I enjoyed the fight I had with Adrian. I’ll definitely work on my game further to close up the gap,” said Yan Wei.
Leading into the Games, Yan Wei was reminded of his match against Rachata Ngamyoo from Thailand whom he had fought against and lost to in 2018.
“I was careless and he submitted me via toehold. That loss came with a heavy price – I lost my rights to qualify for the 2018 Asian Games,” he recalled.
“I spent an entire year with my coach, Major Overall, on learning how to attack and defend the toehold, while at the same time to be able to choke him via my favourite choke.’
“Due to the luck of the draw, Rachata and I ended up fighting each other first, and I knew I didn’t want to lose to the same guy again, and I knew I spent a while year preparing for a rematch. I was very, very focused on winning this rematch, and I’m glad things turned out the way I wanted it to be,” he said, after beating Rachata by submission to advance to the semi-finals.
Fiona Toh beat Cambodia’s Sokhouy Mab by submission on Tuesday (10 Dec) to take home the bronze.
Meanwhile, Fiona Toh beat Cambodia’s Sokhouy Mab by submission to clinch Singapore’s fourth bronze medal for the sport in this edition of the Games. Fiona was distraught after her loss to Cassandra J Poyong of Malaysia in the semi-finals and had to pull it together for her final match.
“I did not expect this medal. I expected at least a silver or gold. That was why I was so upset about my loss in the second match,” she said.
Fiona added that she had trained intensely in the months leading up to the Games and had to cut 5kg in two months to make the Under-55kg weight class.
“It was absolute mental torture as I really love food. I also have never cut this much weight before. It was really hard to cut weight, and also get enough energy to train,” she said.
Singapore’s other jiu-jitsu fighter Matthew Nathaneal Sugiri lost to Indonesia’s Yunus Paays in the bronze medal match 2 – 0 in the 94kg category.
Jiu-jitsu’s total haul from these Games is a creditable 2 gold, 1 silver and 4 bronze medals.