SEA Games 2019: Honeymoon can wait for Filipina Kickboxing bet Gina Iniong
ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 02, 2019 12:54 PM
“We have a good shot at getting a gold medal. I worked hard for this and I don’t want to put our sacrifices to waste, especially since this is my first major competition in kickboxing.” - Gina Iniong (FILE PHOTO)
ONE Championship atomweight star Gina "Conviction" Iniong could have chosen to be anywhere on her honeymoon, but she chose to strut the colors of the Philippine flag at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines.
The hard-hitting Team Lakay representative tied the knot with her longtime partner Richard Araos in October. But just a week into their marriage, Iniong was back on the grind for her kickboxing stint in the biennial games.
“My husband, Richard, is a seaman. He is on vacation now, but the nice thing about him is he is very supportive. He totally understands,” Iniong said.
“On our rest days, we spend the whole time together. He also brings me to training and drives me back me home.”
“Conviction,” a professional mixed martial artist with a 8-4 record, tried out for the Philippine National Kickboxing Team after finding out that the group needed an experienced martial artist to represent the country.
She passed the tryouts with flying colors to earn a spot on the team under the tutelage of Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao.
“There was a tryout for kickboxing, and they were looking for an experienced fighter. I tried out and luckily, I got in. We started training since then,” Iniong said.
“I have a background in martial arts, and I have been training kickboxing long before I joined the national team so I don’t think I will have a problem adjusting.”
After making the team, the Filipina’s focus shifted from her marriage to kickboxing. It was a move the couple had talked about, and her husband gave her his blessings to compete on just one condition.
“We talked about it, and he told me I need to get the gold medal so we wouldn’t waste our time. After all, we just got married and here I am training,” Iniong said.
“Now we’re here, and it will happen in the Philippines. I want to carve out a name in kickboxing.”
Brimming with confidence thanks to her hard work and preparation, the 30-year-old is excited to perform in front of her home country.
"I don’t feel any pressure. I’m actually more determined because I know a lot of people will be cheering for me,” she said.
“We have a good shot at getting a gold medal. I worked hard for this and I don’t want to put our sacrifices to waste, especially since this is my first major competition in kickboxing.”