Although she knew she worked hard all year long, Meggie Ochoa acknowledged she did not expect to take the gold in the -49 kilogram division of the Ju-Jitsu International Federation (JJIF) World Championships in Malmo, Sweden.
Ochoa defeated Canada’s Ni Ni Vicky Hoang in the final 2-0 to become the first Asian to get a gold medal at the worlds.
“Sa totoo lang hindi ko in-expect ito. The entire year I’ve been really putting so much pressure on my self because of the Asian Games. Todo bigay lahat. For this particular world championship . . . I was so excited to compete,” said the 28-year-old during the press conference arranged by Bughaw Digital.
En route to the finals, Ochoa beat Morgane Houx of France 4-0, Anna Augustyn-Mitkowska of Poland 2-0, then submitted Laetitia Boes of France in the semifinal.
Prior to her gold medal win at the worlds, Ochoa also bagged a bronze in the 2018 Asian Games and a gold in the Grand Slam Jiu-Jitsu World Tournament last March.
This is the first time the Philippines participated at the worlds.
One of the highlights of her stint in Sweden was when she pulled off a knee bar against Boes.
“May ginawa akong never kong nagawa before, na knee bar ko siya. Hindi ko ‘yun game pero bigla siyang lumabas. Nagulat siya kasi mabilis ko ring nagawa,” Ochoa said, adding that her victory is proof that Pinoys can excel in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
“It’s technique over size and power. Alam natin na may size disadvantage tayo and pwede nating gamitin ‘yung talino at puso natin para mag-excel sa sport na ito. Alam nating kakayanin ng Pilipino basta subukan lang nila,” said Ochoa.
Meanwhile, she said she looks forward to competing in the 2019 Southeast Asain Games.
“Syempre, excited talaga kasi dito sa Pilipinas gaganapin ang SEA Games. Exciting ‘yan kasi territory mo ‘yan,” she said.