Ochoa Cops Bronze in All-Filipino Clash with Napolis
JAKARTA—Margarita “Meggie” Ochoa emerged victorious in an all-Philippine battle for third place with Jenna Kaila Napolis in ju-jitsu’s newaza women’s -49 kgs class to add another bronze—the sixth—to the country’s coffers in the 18th Asian Games.
Ochoa’s bronze somehow provided Team Philippines a whiff of fresh air after going without a medal the day before.
With six bronze medals topped by Hidilyn Diaz’s gold in weightlifting, the Philippines occupied
21st place in the medal tally, way below powerhouse China whose athletes just couldn’t seem to lose in almost all fronts.
The Chinese juggernaut continued blazing a trail toward another dominant campaign. They have a total of 126 medals, 61 of those gold, to stamp their might over closest pursuers Japan and Korea. The Japanese mustered 27 gold and the Koreans 20 at close to sundown on Friday.
Ochoa outclassed Napolis with a series of locks to earn a 2-0 victory in a match that bore traces of a Blue vs Green rivalry.
“Masayang-masaya po. Mas masaya po sana kung parehas kaming may medalya ni Jenna pero ipinakita lamang po namin na kahit magkababayan kami ay fair play pa rin po at ipapakita ang best namin,” Ochoa said.
Ochoa, 28, and a Management degree holder from Ateneo de Manila, went through a repecharge to arrange the bronze medal match with Napolis, a 22-year-old student of De La Salle-College of St. Benilde.
Ochoa won her first two matches against Yasmeen Joralkhatib of Jordan via superiority and eliminated Siramlo Thadeepudsa of Thailand on points, 2-0. But she lost in the quarterfinals to Thi Than Minh Vieduong of Vietnam via superiority.
Vieduong then climber her way to the final, giving Ochoa—who won gold in the Asian championships n Kazakhstan—a passage to the battle for the bronze against Napolis.
Napolis missed a shot at the gold medal when she lost to Jessa Khan of Cambodia via tap out in the semifinals. She earlier beat Santi Apriyani Savitri of host Indonesia in the round of 16 and Wadima Alyafei of United Arab Emirates in the quaterfinals.