Two Filipinos have proven to the world stage that the Philippines is home to individuals who have inherent and honed athletic skills as Annie Ramirez and Gian Dee will be taking home two gold medals after winning in their respective divisions at the on-going Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship (ADWPJJC) 2019 held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Ramirez won her gold medal at the ADWPJJC 2019’s Purple Belt 55kg final via referee’s decision while Dee won gold via submission at the Abu Dhabi World Masters Jiu-Jitsu Championship (ADWMJJC) 2019 Brown Belt 62kg final.
Ramirez quote “Naiiyak ako na natutuwa sa saya. Yung 4 years ko po na chine-chase yung dream ko na maging world champion sa mga ganitong palaro, nagpapasalamat po ako na nakuha ko na yung inaasam ko,” shares
Dee had the Russian representative in around two minutes for the first match, the second match against US had their scores tied but Dee lost via penalty. Dee bagged the gold after Russia defeated the US representative. “Last year I placed second sa same category, male master 1 brown belt and then swerte this year, nakuha ko na ang gold,” said Dee.
Both Ramirez and Dee are grateful to be given the chance to represent the Philippines as part of the National Team as they worked closely with the Philippine Sports Commission and the Jiu-Jitsu Federation of the Philippines.
Seeing that Jiu-Jitsu is among the emerging sports activities in the Philippines, Dee hopes that their victory would be a beacon of hope for young blood to spark their interest in the sport: “Lahat sila nag t-train together, lahat sila may goal to eventually be part of the national team or even to represent the country in the Olympics. It’s a long journey so yung unang step is to try and keep on training, kahit gaanong kahirap sa una at matatalo ka, eventually magiging champion ka.”
Ramirez hopes that her win would inspire the youth, especially girls to muster up their courage to try a contact sport like try Jiu Jitsu: “Gusto ko pong magsilbing inspirasyon sa mga kababayan ko especially sa mga kababaihan, sa mga bata – kasi yan ang future natin. Para makita nila na despite na contact sport ito, at especially since babae ako na kaya nating manalo sa ganitong taas na palaro.”
The ADWPJJC will be attended by elite players from more than 100 countries who will compete in the tournament.