DAVAO City's Sydney Sy Tancontian salvaged a women's 80+ kilogram division bronze medal for the Philippines in the recently-concluded bubble-like World Sambo Championships 2020 in Novi Sad, Serbia.
The 20-year-old University of Santo Tomas (UST) judo varsity scholar, who arrived in Manila Tuesday evening, November 10, said she's been satisfied with her performance.
"I'm very happy about my performance sa world, especially sa seniors category po kasi nakita ko po yung bunga ng pag-eensayo (my training had borne fruit)," she said in a Facebook Messenger interview on Wednesday, November 11.
She said her bronze feat inspires her to train harder for her future competitions so she can showcase her abilities and eventually clinch the world championship title, which had been evading her.
The bronze she won in Serbia was the fifth World bronze so far in her growing sambo collection.
Her four other bronzes came from the World Youth and Juniors Sambo Championships 2019 at the Sports Complex Uzbekistan; 2019 Chungju World Martial Arts Masterships in Chungju, South Korea in September 2019; World Sambo Championships 2018 held in Bucharest, Romania; and in the 2019 Sambo World Cup Kharlapiev Memorial Competition in Moscow, Russia in March 2019.
Tancontian, also a 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2019 women's kurash bronze medalist defeated Spain's Evadne Huecas, 2-1 only to succumb to Russia's Olga Artoshina, 3-9, who went on to win the gold medal.
In the women juniors, she lost to an opponent from Ukraine due to a heartbreaking penalty, 0-1.
She, however, said that it was challenging to compete amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
"Mahirap po walang coach kasi walang pwedeng gumabay sayo on the spot and pwedeng makagawa ng adjustments sa laro. Pero malaking tulong po yung experience at tagal ng paglalaro ko kasi kahit papano nakapag-adjust po ako sa circumstances ng laro (It's difficult to compete without a coach since nobody was there to guide me on adjustments I need to do during the matches. But my experience has helped me somehow despite the circumstances)," she added.
Tancontian's father Paolo, in a separate Messenger statement, thanked God for allowing her to bring honor to the country again.
He said Sydney deserves recognition for the sacrifices she had to go through for the world event. The latter underwent strict travel procedures given the health protocols established by the government.
"As her father and with all the experience my daughter has acquired through the years, I can say that this year could have been Sydney's peak and she is much ready for the title, but because of uncontrollable circumstances, her potential was unfortunately held back," he said, pertaining to Sydney's playing without a coach, which he added was disadvantageous.
He said he is very grateful for what Sydney had achieved, also thanking all those who supported her and prayed for her.