Antipolo’s pride Lea Inlayo joined the Philippine Women’s badminton team as it won the bronze medal in Team Competition in the 2023 Southeast Asia Games in Cambodia.
Other members of the Philippine women’s badminton team are Mikaela de Guzman, Airah Albo, Thea Pomar, Bianca Carlos, Alyssa Leonardo, Susmita Ramos and Christel Fuentespina.
Lea said she was grateful for the blessing of winning the medal earned after years of hard work and sacrifice.
“Napakasarap sa feeling dahil after how many years nakuha na namin at di lang basta taon kundi ilang sakripisyo, pawis, effort, pagod at oras ang ginugol namin lahat dito. Hindi lang players ang bumuo kundi kasama ang coaches admins and sponsors. Sobrang worth it lahat at masaya na na achieve namin ang magkamedal dito sa SEA Games,” said Lea.
Her mother Liza, who accompanied her to the Games, expressed her pride and respect for her daughter who has overcome great odds to become the athlete that she is now.
“Super proud po sa anak ko deserved po niya yan, sa dame po ng pinag daanan na hirap at training din po. Kaya support lang ako sa kanya, manalo matalo. Pero etong binigay ni God na blessing sa kanya, napakasarap po sa pakiramdam bilang nanay,” said Liza.
It was the first time for the Philippines to win a medal in badminton since the 2015 Games in Singapore where Ronel Estanislao and Joper Escueta bagged the men’s double bronze.
The Philippine beat Malaysia to qualify to the Semifinals against powerhouse Indonesia. The locals bowed to the world-class athletes of Indonesia to earn the bronze medal.