Cambodian-American jiu-jitsu athlete Khan Jessa defeated Singapore in the 52kg Ne-Waza qualifier at the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), moving on to beat another athlete for Vietnam on Thursday.
The former SEA Games and Asian Games gold medalist, emerged triumphant from her jiu-jitsu games, held at Phnom Penh’s OCIC Hall, giving hope that the host nation will scoop more golds during the games.
Jessa, 21, strongly backed Cambodia in the lead-up to the SEA Games, posting pictures on her personal Instagram account. A caption on one read, “Ready to represent! Cambodia flag emoji”.
“Thank you everyone for your support… I’m really excited because you guys [can] actually see me compete this year. I’m really excited to feel the energy from Cambodian people,” she wrote on the post.
Jessa traveled from America to Cambodia to compete in the Games and received a warm welcome from Sar Sokha, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, when she landed at Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday.
Upon her arrival, she told local media at the airport that she was extremely enthusiastic to be in Cambodia for the fourth time.
“This time it is even more special because we are hosting the SEA Games for the first time. So, I’m really excited to be part of that. I’m excited for everyone here and Cambodians to be part of my journey, to be able to watch me do Jiu-Jitsu.
“Hopefully, I can encourage more Cambodians to do Jiu-Jitsu so that we can get more people on the national team,” she previously said.