Aleia Aielle Aguilar, a precocious six-year-old with a fighter’s pedigree, submitted home bet Maitha Earani in just 12 seconds of their title fight in the 2023 Abu Dhabi World Festival Jiu Jitsu Championships to become the youngest two-time world champion of the sport.
Aguilar was all business, grappling Earani and practically not giving her opponent the chance to breathe before claiming victory with an armbar for the gold in the girls kids white belt 17 kg category, the same division she also ruled last year.
“She is always ready every time her opponent moves, every time they try something on the mat. She’s fearless,’’ said wrestling chief Alvin Aguilar, describing the unruffled attention of his daughter in every fight.
Prior to downing Earani in front of a sellout hometown crowd, Aielle toppled Brazilian Gabriella Kulzer, 4-1, in the semifinals.
Team Philippines came off an impressive campaign in the 2023 World Combat Sports event, where the country claimed three gold, five silver and five bronze medals.
Kaila Napolis of jiu jitsu seized the first-ever gold medal for the nation in these Games followed by the muay thai tandem of Richien Yosorez and Kylie Mallari before taekwondo’s Darius Venerable topped the men’s Poomsae event.
For the second time around, the Philippine flag was draped on Aielle’s shoulder for the magnificent triumph upon receiving her medal during the awarding ceremony. INQ