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Khan sets new goals after four-gold haul

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Cambodia’s Jessa Khan four gold medals at the Sport Jiu-Jitsu International Federation World Championship in California. AFP

Khan sets new goals after four-gold haul

Cambodia’s jiu-jitsu sensation Jessa Khan announced her desire to go up in weight as her next challenge after her storming four-gold performance at the Sport Jiu Jitsu International Federation World Championship at California’s Long Beach Arena.

“On to my next challenge – female strawweight 115lb division,’’ Khan said on social media.

The strawweight division in mixed martial arts generally refers to competitors weighing between 48-52kg (106lb-115lb). It sits between the lighter atomweight division and heavier flyweight divisions.

On Saturday Khan took top honours in the -49kg newaza (ground technique) class, before again coming out on top after moving up to the unlimited weight category.

Khan, from the Believe and Achieve stable in the US, added two more golds to her golden double on Saturday to end the world championship at California’s Long Beach Arena with a remarkable four-gold haul.

Competing for the first time in a major event after her historic golden debut for the Kingdom at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, the now 17-year-old again proved she is not intimidated by top opposition.

In her own humble words, Jessa said she still has a long way to go, but the four gold medals won at the SJIIF has ignited her passion to excel even more and nothing would give her greater pleasure and lifelong satisfaction than winning Olympic gold for the country of her father Peter’s origin – Cambodia.

It took the teenager 10 fights and seven submissions in all to collect her golden hoard, and in a short but heartfelt Facebook post she made it a point to thank coaches “@[email protected]”, the famous Brazilian Mendes brothers who were multiple world champions and trainers at Art of Jiu Jitsu, where Jessa’s talents were carefully nurtured.

“As someone who has shown all the traits of a born fighter, it should come as no surprise if she takes up and succeeds in this challenge too,” National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC) adviser Ken Gadaffi said.

NOCC secretary-general Vath Chamroeun said: “It was a dream debut for her in the Asian Games and the Kingdom is proud of her outstanding achievement.

“She is very young and definitely on her way up, as the SJIIF World Championship results have shown."

“I am confident she will bring Cambodia greater glory from the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines next year.”

“It is indeed remarkable and heartening to note that in the post-Asian Games success, both Jessa Khan and jet skier Ou Moeut Saly [who also won gold in Indonesia] continue to do well on the international stage,” he added.

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