HANGZHOU, China–Arms down essentially the most adorned Filipino in her sport, no quantity of hurt can drive Meggie Ochoa to stop.
However after putting gold within the nineteenth Asian Games right here, the seasoned grappler takes a step again from the mat to ponder on her athletic future.
“For now, I’d moderately pay extra consideration to my restoration earlier than I consider any competitions inside the 12 months,’’ stated Ochoa, who subdued present world champion Balqees Abdulla of the United Arab Emirates within the -48kg ultimate of girls’s jiu jitsu on Thursday that gifted the Philippines its second gold medal.
It was a win carved out of sheer will, having been fever-stricken within the final three days. And never solely that, Ochoa continues to be recovering from a meniscus tear in her left knee sustained in the course of the Cambodia Southeast Asian Video games early this 12 months the place the two-time champion settled for a silver medal.
Ochoa got here to this metropolis generally known as China’s e-commerce and synthetic intelligence hub with a fever that by no means went away. That’s why she was so emotional when she was declared the winner by benefit.
“There have been too many obstacles even earlier than I got here right here. It solely grew to become worse after I bought sick,” Ochoa, tears operating down her cheeks, stated. “However I stored the religion and instructed myself to simply do my greatest to win.
The 33-year-old, a two-time world champion in 2018 Sweden and final 12 months in Abu Dhabi, subdued Mongolia’s Odgerel Batbayar within the round-of-16 after which submitted Kazakhstan’s Nazgul Rakhayeva within the quarterfinal on the Xiaoshan Linpu Gymnasium.
Then the problem grew bigger after hurting her hip earlier than tripping Thailand’s Pechrada Kacie Tan, 4-2, within the semifinals.
All of the piercing ache went away when the referee raised Ochoa’s hand within the gold medal match in opposition to the 19-year-old Abdulla.
“What I had gone by way of was totally different. I went by way of a number of challenges, however these struggles solely made victory sweeter,’’ stated Ochoa.
Because the third man within the mat signaled the beginning of their match, Ochoa clinched and instantly despatched Abdulla to the bottom.
Repeatedly attempting to extricate herself from Ochoa’s tight grip, Abdulla was overwhelmed by the Filipino for almost three minutes till the clock expired.
“I can really feel ache (in my hip), however I nonetheless need to test if there’s an harm,’’ stated Ochoa, whose victory upped Workforce Philippines medal complete to 2 gold, one silver and 9 bronze medals total.
“My prayers bought answered. This victory is totally different from the remainder as a result of right here, I signify our nation,’’ stated Ochoa.
“This one is for our nation. I hope my teammates win extra medals,’’ stated Ochoa.