Tasked to take on a Herculean job in such short time, Jenelyn Olsim delivered a bronze for the Philippines before taking on the other half for herself.
The Team Lakay star was busy the past weeks getting ready for the 2021 Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam and preparing for her next fight in ONE Championship.
Her efforts bore fruits as she delivered the first medal for the national vovinam team with a bronze medal finish in the women’s -55kg event.
While what she brought home from Vietnam may not be the best prize but it’s enough to earn her a passing mark.
This was the first time the country sent vovinam athletes to the regional biennial meet. The sport, a traditional Vietnamese martial arts, made its SEA Games debut in 2011, was again played in 2013, disappeared in the next editions until making its comeback in this year’s edition.
The ONE Championship atomweight fighter first beat Laos’ Male Chanthalacksa 4-3 in the eliminator to advance to the semifinals wherein she absorbed a 6-7 heartbreaker against Sophy Sok of Cambodia to settle for the bronze.
The 25-year-old has been nothing but ecstatic with all the eventful developments that happened the past two weeks.
“I’m really happy because I continue to receive these blessings. Every time I fight, I take it as a sign of gratitude.” said Olsim.
“My training for ONE Championship and for the SEA Games have been continuous. I just need to make small adjustments and additional training so that I can incorporate Vovinam into my MMA training.” she added.
Olsim is scheduled to face Julie Mezabarba at ONE 158: Pacio vs. Brooks
Olsim noted her Team Lakay stablemates’ success in Hanoi serve as inspiration for her fight against Mezabarba.
Her fellow ONE fighters are among those who carried the Philippine flag in the Vovinam and kickboxing competitions in the SEA Games. Fellow atomweight campaigner Gina Iniong-Araos got a gold in kickboxing while Honorio Banario, a former ONE featherweight world champion, also made the podium when he captured the bronze medal in kickboxing.
“The more medals my teammates collect, the more I get inspired and motivated to get the win at ONE 158,” said Olsim.
By Armando M. Bolislis