Lim snares jiu-jitsu silver medal in AIMAG

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan – Jiu-Jitsu fighter Marc Alexander Lim fell short in his bid to win a gold medal after he sustained a 2-0 loss to Talib Saleh Mohamed Sale Alkirbi of United Arab Emirates in the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) Monday night at the Ashgabat Olympic Complex here.

Lim, a purple belter, was on top of his black-belter opponent majority of their six-minute encounter in the -65kg men’s Ne-Waza. The 20-year-old native of Davao City had a few chances of forcing Alkirbi into submission but failed to capitalize on his opportunities.

In the final moments of the match, however, Alkirbi was able to escape Lim’s stronghold and got better positioning to score the crucial points in the last 17 seconds for the gold medal of the match held at the Martial Arts Indoor Arena.

Lim settled with the silver medal, the first for Team Philippines competing here in AIMAG, and second medal overall after Alvin Lobriguito earned a bronze in freestyle traditional wrestling.

“It would have nice to have ended it with a win, or at least 0-0 (referee’s decision),” Lim said. “I’m very happy to have delivered a medal, but I would have been happier if it’s a gold, so I can’t really say that I’m happy with the silver.”

The 25-year-old Lobriguito got the luck of the draw in his category where there were just seven entries. In his lone match, he suffered a 4-0 defeat to host nation’s Yakupnazar Yakubow in the semifinals.

In comparison, Lim went through five tough assignments to make it to the finals – where Alkirbi proved to be a difficult match.

“I have to learn from it. It’s actually my third time fighting him. He’s the only guy that I bumped in to that I have beaten yet. I’m getting closer and closer every time. In jiu-jitsu there’s a belt system… he’s a black belt, I’m purple belt,” said Lim, who lost twice to his UAE foe in previous international meets.

“I look up to him because he teaches me lessons, I learn a lot from him. I’ll get him one of these days,” Lim added.

Lim’s silver medal finish was still something to celebrate after other athletes suffered defeats, including three taekwondo jins in the quarterfinalists, namely Karen Cells, Jenar Torillas and Samuel Thomas Morrison at the Taekwondo Indoor Arena.

Also losing Monday night was veteran long jumper Marestella Torres-Sunang, who placed fifth overall in the long jump event won by Kazakhstan’s Olga Rypakova at the Indoor Athletics Arena.

On Tuesday morning, Eric Cray topped his heat in the 60meter run to enter the semifinals at the Indoor Athletics Arena. The reigning Asian Athletics 400m winner skipped Monday’s 60m hurdles to focus on 60m with hopes of delivering a medal later in the evening.

Mervin Guarte, on the other hand, failed to qualify in the semifinals of the 1500m.

Still competing at press time were Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz, as well as fellow weightlifters Dessa delos Santos, Ann Ando and Kristel Macrohon.

 

Cue artists Efren “Bata” Reyes, Francisco “Django” Bustamante, Dennis Orcullo, Jefrey Roda and Carlo Biado were also competing late Tuesday afternoon.