SEA Games 2023

Despite med school demands, Agatha Wong claims 5th SEA Games gold in wushu

Delfin Dioquino

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Despite med school demands, Agatha Wong claims 5th SEA Games gold in wushu

STREAK. Agatha Wong bags a gold medal for the fourth straight SEA Games.

Rappler screenshot

Agatha Wong admits she did not expect much from herself in the 2023 SEA Games as she juggles wushu and med school

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – The arduous balancing act between med school and wushu did not hinder Agatha Wong from clinching a fifth gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games.

Wong bagged a gold for the fourth straight edition of the regional showpiece, including two in 2019, after topping the women’s taijiquan + taijijian event at the Chroy Changvar Convention Center here on Friday, May 12.

Despite med school demands, Agatha Wong claims 5th SEA Games gold in wushu

She earned a total of 19.263 points in the combined event which merged taiquan and taijijian into one, besting Malaysia’s Sydney Chin (19.196) and Brunei’s Basma Lachkar (19.160).

While she was tipped as a heavy favorite in the event after clinching the taijijian gold and the taijiquan silver in Vietnam last year, Wong admitted she did not expect much from herself as she juggles wushu and med school.

“I’ve been training hard but all I could think of are my backlogs in school,” said Wong, who is now in her first year at the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center.

“Everyone was expecting that I would win but I can’t even expect myself to win so it was really hard to manage mentally.”

Wong scored 9.580 points in the taijiquan segment to place third behind Chin (9.640) and Lachkar (9.610), but pulled her score up after garnering 9.683 points in the taijijian, an event she ruled in the past two SEA Games.

Despite med school demands, Agatha Wong claims 5th SEA Games gold in wushu

Chin posted 9.556 in the taijijian to settle for silver, while Lachkar recorded 9.550 for bronze.

‘I really like this sport’

Wong said it has been a major adjustment since she started med school, four years after graduating with a Diplomatic Affairs degree from the College of St. Benilde in 2018.

“I train twice a day then I still have class. I study at night. We train from Monday to Saturday. Sunday is the only day for rest. But I allot my Sundays for backlogs in school,” she said.

Coming from a family of lawyers and doctors, Wong decided to pursue med school of her own volition since she saw similarities between the medical profession and wushu.

“My personality is not for law. Since I’m already in sports, I thought to myself why don’t I connect the two so I went to med.”

Wong, who is also an Asian Games taijiquan bronze medalist, said her passion for the sport made it work despite the challenging demands of med school.

“If you want it, you can find a way. It’s hard, but I can do it because I really like this sport.”

Philippine wushu also secured a bronze courtesy of Sandrex Gainsan in the men’s jianshu + qiangshu. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.