Annie Ramirez goes after legendary coach’s hallowed SEA Games record – rezal404
Annie Ramirez is looking at rewriting history in terms of jiujitsu gold medals won in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
After Ramirez nailed a third consecutive gold recently at the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia, the former world champion has put the record of her coach, Filipino judo icon John Baylon, in her bucket list.
“Three down, seven more to go,” said Ramirez, referring to her chase of Baylon’s hallowed record in the biennial meet.
For two decades, Baylon ruled the roost in the region, winning nine straight gold medals except for an edition of the SEA Games when judo wasn’t played.
“Coach (John) and I were just joking, but why not? I’m looking forward to it and hoping to even exceed what he accomplished,” said Ramirez, the reigning champion in the women’s ne-waza nogi 57 kilograms.
The 57-year-old Baylon is now a full-time jiujitsu coach after likewise pocketing medals in the World Masters and Asian Games in judo during his prime.
“I’m sure coach will be happy and proud of me the moment I achieve it,” said Ramirez, a former national judoka who shifted to jiujitsu in 2012 under Baylon.
The next stop for Ramirez in that chase will be the 2025 SEA Games in Thailand.
Prior to keeping her streak intact in Thailand, the Asian champion will compete in three big tournaments this year with the Ju-Jitsu International Federation’s World Championships in July set in Mongolia the closest.
The 32-year-old Ramirez is also scheduled to compete in the Asian Games in September set in Hangzhou, China, and the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (Aimag) in Bangkok, Thailand, late November.
“The aimag is one tournament that I really want to be part of. I have to prepare hard for it,” said Ramirez.
She gained instant fame for striking the two gold medals of Team Philippines with Meggie Ochoa during the 2017 Aimag held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
“There’s pressure for me to retain that gold medal in the aimag. Except for a veteran grappler from Kazakhstan, I expect to face younger athletes in my bid to win the title again,” said Ramirez.
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