Representing the Philippines, Igorot mixed martial artist Gina “Conviction” Iniong, 30, earned one of the gold medals at the Southeast Asian Games 2019. The ONE Championship athlete training at the Team Lakay gym in La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines competed in kickboxing.
Iniong defeated two opponents to earn the gold medal. She competed in the -55kg light kick category.
On December 8, 2019, Iniong defeated La Thi Nga, 18, of Vietnam in the semi-finals, which took place at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines. The scores were 2-1 in both first and seconds rounds and 3-0 in the third round all in favor of the Team Lakay representative.
In the other semi-final bout, Mingkhwan Apichaya, 21, of Thailand outperformed Sitohang Melpida, 25, of Indonesia. The Thai kickboxer won via referee stoppage.
Apichaya and Iniong competed in the final bout at the Cuneta Astrodome on December 10, 2019. The Igorot kickboxer scored 2 in the first round and 3 in both the second and third rounds while her Thai opponent scored 0 in all rounds.
Including Iniong, three Filipino athletes training out of Team Lakay gym won gold at the SEA Games 2019 in kickboxing. Also winning their respective final bouts at the Cuneta Astrodome, the other two were Jerry “The Bokodian Warrior” Olsim, 25, of Bokod, Benguet and Jean Claude Saclag, 25, of Libungan, Kalinga.
On December 9, 2019, Olsim defeated Klinming Sarayut, 22, of Thailand in the final round of the -69kg kick light division. The Filipino kickboxer scored 3 while his Thai opponent scored 0 in all the three rounds.
Saclag defeated Mohammed Mahmoud, 23, of Malaysia in the -63.5kg low kick final on December 10, 2019. The Filipino kickboxer scored scored 3 while his Malaysian opponent scored 0 in all the three rounds.
Hosted by the Philippines, the SEA Games 2019 is the 30th edition of the biennial regional multi-sport event. It kicked off on November 30, 2019 and will end on December 11, 2019.
Iniong, Olsim and Saclag train under the tutelage of Team Lakay founder and head coach Mark “The Machine” Sangiao, 40, who is one of the coaches of the Philippines’ kickboxing team for SEA Games 2019. In 2001, Sangiao won gold at the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
As a professional MMA fighter, Iniong has 8 wins and 4 losses. She has been competing in ONE Championship since 2017.
The last time Iniong competed in ONE Championship was on February 16, 2019 at “ONE: Clash of Legends” at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand where she defeated Jihin “Shadowcat” Radzuan, 21, of Malaysia via split decision. Meanwhile, here is a clip from the Team Lakay fighter’s kickboxing bout against Apichaya at the SEA Games 2019: