By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
What a redemption tour for Annie Ramirez.
After crashing out in the early preliminary phase of the 2018 Asian Games, the Filipina jiu-jitsu superstar finally reaped the fruits of her labor in this year’s edition of the global games when she clinched the gold medal in the 57-kg women’s division.
Ramirez defied the odds and outclassed Galina Duvanova of Kazakhstan in the grand finals match last October 6, 2023, held in Hangzhou, China.
Her championship stint rewarded the PHL delegation with their second gold medal in the sport a day after Meggie Ochoa ruled the women’s 48-kg event.
It was an intense gold medal clash between the two best jiu-jitsu fighters in the 57-kg division. Duvanova got on top first and was looking to control the ground action by staying steady in her position.
Aiming ways to break the deadlock and change the position, Ramirez used her legs to clip Duvanova’s control but found it hard in the first three minutes of action.
As soon as Ramirez started to sprawl and use more of her right leg to lock Duvanova’s feet, the complexion of the fight started to change.
Ramirez then found her golden opportunity with only 1:24 remaining in the bout after pushing Duvanova off her top mount position using a feet push-off.
After the sequence, Ramirez grabbed Duvanova’s right leg, and grappled the other side, which changed their sides inside the mat.
Ramirez was now in top mount and was piling up the points with her grappling, leaving the last 30 seconds in favor of the Filipina.
It was a terrific campaign for the jiu-jitsu athletes of the PHL after amassing a total of three medals, with Kaila Napolis adding a bronze in the women’s -52kg category.