GOLDEN GIRL. Jhenica Raijah Serrano of Central Judo Club (in white) pins down Monique Viray of Valenzuela City Judo Club in the Under 40kg category of the 8th Women's Martial Arts Festival at the Judo Training Center inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila on Monday (Nov. 14, 2022). Serrano won via ippon. (PNA photo by Jesus Escaros Jr.)

MANILA – Jhenica Raijah Serrano of Central Judo Club (CJC) stamped her class in the Under 40kg category to capture the gold in Day 3 of the 8th Women's Martial Arts Festival at the Judo Training Center inside Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila on Monday.

The 4-foot-11 from Sta. Cruz, Manila defeated Monique Viray of Valenzuela City Judo Club via ippon in only six seconds.

Jhona Faith Duata of Muntinlupa City Judo Club (MJC) also outclassed Gellian Ariones of Calamba City Judo team by ippon for the bronze medal.

" I dedicate the gold medal to my family," said the soft-spoken Serrano, who collected a gold for the third straight year in the tournament organized by the Philippine Sports Commission.

She ruled the Under 25kg category in 2018 and 2019.

A Grade 7 student at the National Academy of Sports (NAS) in Capas, Tarlac, Serrano was likewise a gold medalist in the 2019 Batang Pinoy National Finals in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

"She has a big potential and she focuses on her goal. That is the reason why we enrolled her at the NAS, which will provide her the best training and the opportunity to join international tournaments," said Ryan Alcantara, Serrano’s coach of seven years, who also serves as assistant to national judoka and international referee Gilbert Ramirez at CJC.

Meanwhile, Sophia Nicole Novino of MJC beat Mikeighla Louise De Vera of Baguio City in the Under 44kg and Rhian Napoles of CJC stopped Mariana Alicia Roces of Ultimate Judo Fighters in the Under 48kg, both via ippon. (PNA)