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  • Writer's pictureMenchie Kinao

19-yr.-old Igorota wins bronze in 2023 SEA Games


Mt. Province, Philippines – “It's the culmination of years of hard work.”


This is how the young Igorota described her first Southeast Asian Games experience where she notched bronze medal in the women’s 55-kilogram category of vovinam - "Vietnamese Martial Arts."

At only 19, Jerlyn Kingad who hails from Mt. Province but currently resides in Baguio City, was able to compete and win a medal in the international arena while studying at the University of Baguio.


Her journey, however, did not come easy. As she puts it, it took her years of tough grind to earn her spot in the biennial meet.


Kingad was 13 when she started to enter the field of martial arts. She then began competing first in wushu and muay thai, snatching medals until she became part of the national team. While cultivating her skills, she encountered vovinam.


“I had no idea about the game of vovinam but because of the guidance and instruction of my coaches, I immediately learned this,” she relayed in an interview with GURU Press Cordillera.


She persevered until she advanced to the 32nd SEA Games being held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.


Since the young athlete was given the chance in the international multi-sport event, she wasted no time in preparing herself, both physically and mentally. She trained rigorously for the big day.

Over the weekend, Kingad fell short in her semifinal bout against Panyasyli Alisa of Laos, thus, finishing her campaign as bronze medalist. Clinching a medal in her first appearance in said event is already remarkable.


“Winning a bronze medal internationally is more exciting than I imagined. It's the culmination of years of hard work. By that time, we've visualized and practiced our medal-winning performance so many times that the reality is often less a feeling of elation and more of relief,” she expressed.


She dedicates her first SEA Games medal to her parents who never failed to support her, even in the toughest times. Likewise, she devotes the medal to the country.


Kingad targets to finish her studies while pursuing her career so she “can step on a bigger stage and be recognized more.”


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