DAVAO City's Roni Marielle Santiago clinched a gold medal in the 4th Women’s Martial Arts Festival on Wednesday, July 26, at the Harrison Plaza, Malate, Manila.
Santiago was recently hailed as outstanding athlete for wushu in the 2017 So Kim Cheng Sports Awards Nights.
The 16-year-old first dan taekwondo blackbelt won two straight fights to rule the 52kg wushu sanda title.
She first defeated Joice Ann Montecillo of Dagupan City before scoring a landslide 2-0 against national team member Cherry Mae Sanchez in the finals.
“I was very nervous especially po sa finals against a Philippine team member. Pero nag-pray lang po ako at tiwala po sa sarili. Nagplano din po ako on how to defend,” Santiago said in a Facebook chat with Sun.Star Davao.
The feat, according to her, paid off her sacrifices during training.
Santiago also won a gold for Davao Region in the -56kg category of the 2017 Palarong Pambansa in Hamtic, Antique.
Her golden finish earned her an invitation to join the national team but she turned down the offer and decided to continue her study at the Ateneo de Davao University.
Santiago will next compete in the city meet to be hosted by the Davao City National High School set next month.
“Wala pa po akong other plans apart from enjoying playing wushu,” Santiago added.