Seasoned judoka John Baylon extended his long reign on the mat, capturing gold medal no. 9 in the biennial Southeast Asian Games on Wednesday at the Budo Center’s Chao Anuovong Gymnasium in Vientiane, Laos.
The 44-year-old Baylon bundled out Aung Moe of Myanmar in the semifinals then clobbered Watcharin Jampawong of Thailand in the finals to rule the men’s 81kg-and-under category and remain undefeated in the SEA Games since making his debut in 1991.
The Japan-trained Baylon dug deep into his vast experience against a taller and younger rival from Myanmar to pull off a win via an ipon(throw).
And when he faced the Thai in the finals, he used the same technique to seal his ninth straight triumph in the regional conclave.
“Mukhang hindi pa nila ako kilala, eh. Yuko pa sila ng yuko kaya na-armlock ko agad para madaling ma-ipon," Baylon said. “Hindi ako nahirapan sa laban na ito. Mas bata nga sila, pero sa judo, experience pa din ang mahalaga at hindi lang lakas. "
And the good news for the Philippines is that Baylon is not yet done winning.
“Maglalaro pa rin ako hangga't kaya ko. Tuloy pa din ang ensayo kahit anong mangyari," he said.