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Chinoy Athletes Shine At SEA Games 2023

Written by: Angelo Yanga

Winning a gold can lift the spirits of an entire nation!

The 2023 Southeast Asian Games is a biennial sporting event where each country sends their best athletes. In recent years, the Philippines has been making significant strides, with the medal haul of gymnast Carlos Yulo and the historic gold of weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz at the 2020 Summer Olympics.

And of course, the Chinoy community also has representatives whom we can feel proud of! As of the moment, here are some Chinoy athletes who have won medals at the SEA Games 2023:

Jamie Lim – Karate Gold Medalist 

Jamie Lim, daughter of Samboy Lim, a former PBA star, has now become a two-time gold medalist, just like her dad! Lim reclaimed a gold medal on May 7 by defeating Cambodia’s Vann Chakriya, 3-1, in women’s -61kg kumite.

(Source: Jaime Lim’s Instagram) 


Lim shared that winning a gold medal was worth all the sacrifices she made to balance studying and training.  Lim is currently taking her Masters Degree in Business Analytics at the prestigious Imperial College London. Her schedule may be hectic but her hard work has resulted in sweet victories! 

EJ Obiena – The King Of Pole Vault 

EJ Obiena is rightfully known as the Asian Pole Vault King. He broke his own record by clearing 5.65m, surpassing his previous record of 5.46m set in Vietnam last year. Despite the unfavorable weather conditions, Obiena managed to secure a gold medal on a rainy Monday afternoon. His success demonstrates that giving your best until you succeed is the secret of most accomplished athletes. After clearing 5.65m, Obiena received resounding support from the Filipino crowd.

However, before achieving success, Obiena faced obstacles due to a feud with the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA). During this time, he missed the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.

Tensions finally cooled after the fifth session of the Philippine Sports Commission led mediation proceedings when both parties (PATAFA and Obiena) agreed to a settlement, successfully concluding the proceedings.

(Source: EJ Obiena’s Facebook) 

With his continued achievements, Obiena also aims to share his victory by auctioning off his SEA Games-winning shoes to support Filipino kids who wish to follow in his footsteps.


Marc Lim – Jiu-jitsu Gold Medalist

Marc Lim brought home the 13th gold medal for the Philippines by defeating Vietnam’s Dang Dinh Tung in the men’s ne-waza NOGI -69kg competition. For Lim, the third time’s the charm, after having won silver and bronze medals in the 2019 and 2021 SEA Games, respectively. This year, his hard work finally paid off, and he received the gold medal! Before achieving this, Lim trained in San Diego, United States, and was sent to a world-class camp for six weeks.

Outside of his athletic career, Lim is a native of Davao and a marketing graduate from Ateneo. He also owns a gym in his native province, which he founded in 2017.

(Source: Mark Lim’s Instagram) 

Xiandi Chua – PH’s First Swimming Gold 

Xiandi Chua has secured the first swimming gold medal for the Philippines in the women’s 200-meter backstroke event. Chua completed the race in an impressive time of two minutes and 13.20 seconds, dethroning Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Anh Vien, who held the title in the 2017 edition, as well as her fellow Filipino teammate Chloe Isleta. This outstanding performance resulted in a gold-silver victory for the Philippines.

Chua is also a student at De La Salle University, studying Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies, and she is a member of De La Salle’s swimming team.

(Source: Xiandi Chua’s Instagram) 


Agatha Wong – The Wushu Artist Gold Medalist 

Agatha Wong clinched her fifth gold medal at the SEA Games as she emerged victorious in the women’s taijiquan+taijijian event held at the Chroy Changvar Convention Center Hall A on Friday, May 12. With an impressive score of 19.263 points, she outperformed Malaysia’s Sydney Chin (19.196) and Brunei’s Basma Lachkar (19.160).

Despite not having any expectations of winning a medal due to her commitment to both medical school and wushu practice, Wong courageously participated in the competition. Proving to be a true wushu queen, even with the heavy workload from her studies, Wong gracefully triumphed in the event.

(Source: Agatha Wong’s Instagram) 

In addition to her accomplishments as an athlete, the 24-year-old Wong is a first-year medical student at the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center (UERM). Her story is a testament to passion and determination paving the way for success, even in the face of demanding circumstances.


Support for Other Chinoy Athletes 

Whether or not they win medals, Chinoy and Pinoy athletes alike deserve recognition and support for their hard work. Other notable Chinoy athletes you should know about include Melvin Tan (Bowling), Mireille Qua (Rowing), Alexis Sy (Bowling), Jollirine Co (Silver), Sydney Sy-Tancontian (Kurash), and Sandro Antonio Sia (Fencing).


The SEA Games 2023 is still on-going and everyone is surely hoping for another gold medal! Stay tuned with our updates while our athletes are doing their best. 

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