You might remember Singaporean Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) athlete Constance Lien, who last year clinched Singapore's first-ever BJJ medal (a silver) at the Asian Games.
And on Thursday, May 30, she added another very impressive achievement to her belt.
Lien came up tops to clinch the World Championship title at the World 2019 International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) Jiu-Jitsu Championship's blue belt featherweight category.The competition, held in Long Beach, California, U.S. from May 30 to June 2, is the largest BJJ event that features competitors from all over the world, according to a release by EVOLVE MMA announcing her win.
The 19-year-old has the distinction of being the youngest female Singaporean to win the world championship title — the first Singaporean to win the title was Amos Chua in 2013, when he was 15 years old.
She beat Brazilian Jaine da Silva Fragoso 8-3 in the final round to clinch gold, while Swede Astrid Schölin and American Jasmine Nichole Wilson shared the bronze.
A former competitive swimmer, she was also recently named the Sportsgirl of the Year by the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC).
Win felt surreal
Speaking to Mothership after her historic win, Lien says her victory still feels rather surreal.
"This has been my dream since day one. I couldn't stop crying the moment I knew I won," she shared.
She also attributes her win to the support she received from various people in her life, saying it has "really made a difference".
"It wasn't an easy fight — I was fighting the best of the best.
It was an intimidating experience and I wouldn't have gotten so far without the support of my gym, my coaches, my training partners, my family and most importantly, God."
Next up: purple belt
Lien, who has only been involved in the sport for the past three and a half years, will be moving up to the next difficulty level — the purple belt.
She has next set her sights on July's Jiu-Jitsu Asian Championship held in Mongolia.
The competition, which serves as a qualifier for the SEA Games at the end of this year held in the Philippines, is yet another challenge she looks forward to.
"You never know what will happen," she says.
Lien recently graduated from Temasek Polytechnic after taking a year off from school to focus on pursuing the sport full-time.
It looks like it was a good decision.
Read our interview with her:
Top image via Team Singapore's Facebook