SOUTHEAST Asian Games 2017 judo bronze medalist Sydney Sy Tancontian nailed a silver medal in her debut sambo competition in the just-concluded Mongolian Sambo Federation Championships in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
The 18-year-old daughter of Pilipinas Sambo secretary-general Paolo Tancontian was three points behind gold medalist Adiyasuren Amarsaikhan of the host country.
In the first two minutes and 40 seconds of her match against the Mongolian, Sydney grabbed a 1-0 lead.
"I did my best to execute lahat ng techniques na pwede ko i-attack but in the last 55 seconds, I felt exhausted kaya nakita ng Mongolian opponent ko yung opportunity na mapasok ‘yung attack niya which gave her four points to which I was unable to catch up until the four-minute time expired," Sydney, in a Facebook interview with SunStar Davao Wednesday.
Sydney shared that the tension was high during the competition with formidable entries from different countries.
"I had butterflies in my stomach dahil nakita ko mga kasabayan kong teams na malalakas at advance din ang techniques nila," she said.
The Dabawenya, however, maintained a -80kg weight prior the tournament only to find out that she will be competing in the +75kg category.
"Nung nakita ko yung Mogolian opponent ko who is 10kg heavier, mixed emotions na ako. I felt inferior but sinabi ko sa sarili ko, kailangan ko itayo ang bandera ng Pilipnas, if manalo ako mapapatugtog ko national anthem and I will be the first Filipino and South East Asian din sana to win a gold in Asian Sambo Championships," she narrated.
Sydney, meanwhile, was glad despite missing the gold as she claimed it was a rewarding experience.
She said, "I am fortunate that I was able to take part in this special edition. Significant po ang 2018 championship dahil we are commemorating the 25th year of Asian Sambo Championship and Mongolian Sambo Federation is also celebrating their 50th year in sambo," she said as the event was participated by 18 countries including Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Korea, China, Japan, Chinese Taipei, India, Iran, Bahrain, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia and Mongolia, among others.
"For me this silver will motivate me to be better next competition. It will inspire me to train harder, learn more techniques and to never to lose hope," she added.
She thanked Lord, her supportive parents and family who financed her stint, to Mike Dakudao, James Leetong and to her Tito Boy for their kind assistance, to Philippine Sports Commission for their travel tax exemption, to her teammates Jerry Legaspi and Ruel Catalan and Mongolian Sambo Federation under director-general sensei Suresh Gopi and Samboa Union of Asia president Allamjon Mullaev and the International Sambo Federation (Fias) president Vasily Shestakov.
She also cited the efforts of Pilipinas Sambo officials president lawyer Paolo Claudio, her father who is the secretary-general, doctor Paolo Tabar, former Pilipinas Sambo president Bogs Quitain, Rudoph Alama and Pilipinas Sambo chairman Davao City Representative Karlo Nograles.