Timor Leste's Imbrolia De Araujo Dos Reis Amorin may have only won bronze in the women's under-57kg category in taekwondo on Sunday night, but her medal glittered like gold.
Amorin was in tears as she stood on the podium alongside gold medalist Pauline Lopez of the Philippines and Aliza Chhoeung of Cambodia as she gave her country its first official medal in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
"It's the first medal for my country that's why I'm so emotional," Amorin said. "I feel so happy, I'm so excited that's all... I give this medal for my country, for Timor Leste. Thank you for the Philippines for supporting me."
Filipino fans have been cheering Timor Leste athletes in the last couple of days, urging their Southeast Asian neighbor to finally get a medal. Amorin's case was no different as supporters inside the jam-packed Ninoy Aquino Stadium applauded her efforts. After Amorin claimed her bronze medal, volunteers, fans, and fellow athletes, wanted to take a picture with her.
"I'm so happy for the Philippines for supporting me," she said, mentioning that she didn't expect the support she received from the Filipinos. "I [want to] say thanks to all the Filipino people for supporting my country."
Boxers Jose Barreto Quintas da Silva and Frederico Soares Sarmento also earned bronze medals for Timor Leste, but will have to wait for their awarding ceremony on Monday to make it into the official medal tally. In the meantime, Amorin's bronze is the only one reflected on the medal count.
Seven gold medals were awarded in taekwondo on Sunday night. But for Amorin, her bronze medal meant so much more as she took home the biggest prize for her country.
"My biggest dream is to give a medal for my country because this is my first time in the SEA Games," Amorin said.
"Taekwondo in my country is growing every year, but I think this year is so big for my country and I'm glad I got the first medal for my country."