Emerging Triumphant: Juliana Gomez Wins Gold at UAAP Fencing

The 22-year-old fencer—who’s also the daughter of actor-politician and SEA Games champion Richard Gomez—won individual epee gold at the Season 85 women’s fencing final.

Juliana Gomez took home a gold medal for the University of the Philippines after working her way through UAAP’s Season 85 fencing tournament last February 24. The young athlete won 15-10 against De La Salle University’s Cyrra Vergara in the women’s epee category. 

Gomez has been making her mark in the world of fencing, having won the Air Force Open Fencing Championship in Thailand and West Java Fencing Challenge held in Indonesia, all during 2022.

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When asked what message she has for aspiring women athletes, Juliana shares the following with Lifestyle Asia: “The most important thing is to not limit yourself because of your fear of failure.”

Like Father, Like Daughter

The talented fencer seems to be following in her father’s footsteps, as Richard Gomez also took home a gold medal in fencing during the 2005 Southeast Asian Games. While many know him as an actor and Representative of the Fourth District of Leyte, the famous personality also has a passion for sports—particularly volleyball and fencing. In fact, he is currently the president of the Philippine Fencing Association (PFA)

Richard Gomez, Lucy Torres Gomez, and Juliana Gomez
L-R: Richard Gomez, his wife Lucy Torres-Gomez, and his daughter Juliana Gomez/Photo via Instagram @richardgomezph

Nurturing a champion isn’t something that happens overnight, which is why Juliana is grateful for all the support her parents have given her. “I want to thank my parents for believing in my dream and for understanding how important fencing is to me. I wouldn’t be a champion without their love and support. All my victories are for them,” she tells Lifestyle Asia.

Perseverance and Dedication

Interestingly enough, Juliana wanted to focus more on volleyball, rather than fencing—although she enjoyed the latter during her youth. However, as revealed in an article from the Tiebreaker Times, the limitations posed by the COVID-19 pandemic caused her to reconsider her options. Since fencing facilities were readily available in her hometown of Ormoc, she started training in the sport for two years in order to hone her skills and become the formidable player that she is today.  

Of course, the journey to becoming a skilled fencer came with its fair share of challenges. “My biggest challenge was definitely me starting the sport as a beginner during my Sophomore year of college. I overcame this consistently pushing myself to train right in order to be at par with my competitors at the local level,” Juliana shared with Lifestyle Asia.

“I gained as much exposure as I could by competing and training internationally. This act alone fast tracked my performance in the sport by giving me the experience I needed to be able to level with seasoned fencers,” she expounded.

Juliana Gomez At UAAP Fencing Tournament
A photo of Juliana Gomez in her fencing gear, which she posted on Instagram with the caption “Making my dreams come true”/Photo via Instagram @gomezjuliana

“2 years in the making…I’m just getting started,” she writes in an Instagram post after winning the UAAP fencing final. “It’s a privilege to fight for UP,” she continues. In the very same article from the Tiebreaker Times, Richard shares his hopes for Juliana to continue playing the sport they both love. “I want her to be one of the best in the country […]”

He adds, ‘It really takes perseverance’ no? And a lot of training, a lot of hard work. Eventually, you’ll get there.’” Indeed, it appears that Juliana is well on her way to fulfilling that goal.

Juliana Gomez At UAAP Fencing Tournament
Juliana Gomez right after winning gold at the UAAP Season 85 fencing tournament/Photo via Instagram @gomezjuliana

Photo via Instagram @gomezjuliana.

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