After her triumph in the women’s ju-jitsu ne-waza nogi 57-kilogram event of the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Phnom Penh, Annie Ramirez is setting her sights on defending her crown at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Thailand from 17 to 26 November.
In a radio interview, the three-time SEA Games gold medalist said she expects tougher competition this time around now that Japan will be in the mix.
Ramirez won the gold in the 2017 edition in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, after a 5-0 victory over fellow Filipino Kaila Napolis in the women’s ne-waza 55kg.
“I know my mindset has always been a challenger’s mindset but I admit, there has been some pressure to get another gold in AIMAG,” Ramirez said.
“The weight categories have changed since 2017. Some of my previous opponents aren’t there while some like from Kazakhstan will still be around.”
“For sure, Japanese players will be there as well since the Ju-Jitsu International Federation has been pushing Japan to be active.”
After her triumph in the Phnom Penh Games, Ramirez, 32, is also slated to join the JJIF World Championship in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, in July and the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China from 23 September to 8 October.
The former University of Santo Tomas judoka said she sees these competitions as an avenue to further improve herself.
Expect her to fight everyone with all her might regardless of who she is facing.
“I’m looking forward to these competitions. I’d like to take them one at a time,” Ramirez said.
“Just give your all in every match. Whatever happens, you’ll have no regrets since you did your best.”