JAIME Christine Bderberabe Lim delivered the second gold for the Philippines at the close of karatedo action at the World Trade Center in Pasay City, Monday.
Lim, daughter of pro basketball legend Samboy Lim and former Pag-IBIG Fund CEO Darlene Berberabe of Batangas City, ruled the +61kg kumite with a 2-1 win over Ceyco Zefanya of Indonesia, her first gold medal in the biennial meet just five months after she rejoined the national team.
The 21-year-old karateka was away from the sport for four years to focus on her studies. Last July, she earned the Bachelor of Science in Mathematics at the University of the Philippines, graduating summa cum laude.
“I worked super hard for this. I stopped for four years to concentrate on academics,” said Lim.
“I fought against the odds because my opponents were full-time athletes. I only trained full time for five months. But I did my work, worked hard every day, no shortcuts. I wanted it so much,” she added.
Lim, who scored wins against Audrey Japyus Malaysia 7-3 in the quarterfinals and Thi Thao Bui of Vietnam 5-1 in the semifinals, offered her triumph to her parents.
“Summa cum laude is for mom, SEA Games gold for dad. I can’t believe that both of them happened this year, 2019 is so perfect for me. I’m just so grateful, I’m grateful,” she said.
“I look up to my mom and dad so much. To even come close to him, as in to be compared to him and to mom, it’s so big for me. Today is just so special for me. I feel happy.”
Lim joined Junna Tsukii as the other gold medalist for the karatedo national team after the latter ruled the -50 kumite women’s division.
The Philippines collected 12 more golds from athletics, kickboxing, squash, windsurfing, jiujitsu, archery, and sailing as the runaway leader in the medal tally improved further its total medal haul to 344 – 136 golds, 102 silvers and 106 bronzes.
The Filipino athletes’ performance in the penultimate date of the 10-day competition also surpassed the country’s performance in the 2005 SEA Games where the Philippines won the overall title with 112 golds, 85 silvers and 95 bronzes.
Thailand scooped an additional 27 golds on Monday that put them in second place with 84 golds, 90 silvers, and 102 bronze medals. Vietnam is now in the third spot with 79-78-93 tally while Indonesia skidded to fourth place with 69-76-102 medals.
Malaysia, overall champion of the SEA Games it hosted in 2017, is running fifth with 51-52-67 followed by Singapore’s 50-43-59.
With only 51 gold medals left at stake on the final day of competition on Tuesday, the Philippines is already assured of its second overall SEA Games title.|With reports from PNA