(Photo credit to Judith Caringal)
The Philippines again made its presence felt in the world sporting map following the bronze medal victory of Sydney Sy Tancontian at the World Sambo Championship recently in Bucharest, Romania.
It was a historic win by Sydney being the first Filipino athlete to win a medal in the tournament for the martial arts sport that originated in Russia.
It was a tough feat for the 18-year-old as she needed to beat Cuban Mirtha Caridad Nieves and Karina Stefanovic of Lithuania in the +80 kgs division.
The UST student has come a long way since she never imagined winning a medal. She was only aiming to qualify to the world tournament participated by 70 countries.
She used the long journey going to the European host country as representative of the Philippine Sambo Federation Inc to plot her course and eventually, make history.
Just recently, the Philippine became a toast in world gymnastics when youthful Carlos Yulo became the first Filipino and Southeast Asian to win a medal –bronze—in the prestigious World Championship in Qatar just last week.
Sydney bowed to world champion Anna Balashova or Russia on penalty in her first bout. Then came the win over Mirtha and Stefanovic in the repechagge to take the bronze.
Sambo Pilipinas secretary-general and national coach Paolo Tancontian said Sydne’s foundation in multi-martial arts sports gave her the edge.
“Maganda ang foundation ni Sydney because she played wrestling, judo and jujitsu. Nagtaas siya ng weight division, siya ngayon pinakamaliit sa +80kgs, pero pinaka mabilis”, he told Radyo Pilipinas 2.
Sambo in included in next year’s Southeast Asian Games to be hosted by the Philippines.