Watanabe salvages silver

THREE-TIME Southeast Asian (SEA) Games champion Kiyomi Watanabe, the only Filipino-Japanese judoka who survived Wednesday's hostilities, settled for a silver medal after losing via Ippon to World No. 3 Nami Nabekura of Japan in their 18th Asian Games judo women's -63 kilograms finals in Indonesia Wednesday evening.

Watanabe of Cebu City barged into the gold medal round while the rest of her teammates bid their hopes goodbye.

Watanabe defeated Mongolia's Gankhaich Bold via Waza-ari in their women's -63 kilogram semifinals encounter.

Watanabe earlier dominated arch-rival Orapin Senatham of Thailand via Ippon in the quarterfinals.

Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William Ramirez was all praise for Watanabe who he cited shows a lot of promise in Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

“She is a strong lady and very disciplined. We are all rooting for her not just in the Asian Games but also in the upcoming Olympics,” Ramirez, who is in Davao, said in an interview with SunStar Davao Thursday.

However, SEA Games champion 17-year-old Filipino-Japanese Mariya Takahashi bowed out in the quarterfinals having been defeated by 27-year-old Seongyeon Kim of South Korea via Ippon in women's -70 kilograms division.

Takahashi, whose mother Lynlyn is from Mapawa, Maragusan in Compostela Valley, subdued 27-year-old Surattana Thongsri of Thailand via golden score Ippon in women's -70 kgs.

Takahashi told her mother, “The Korean was very strong.”

Filipino-Japanese bets Keisei Nakano and Megumi Kurayoshi also lost their round-of-16 matches.

Meanwhile, Eumir Felix Marcial was the third Filipino boxer who was assured of bronze after he overcame Jinjea Kim of South Korea, 5-0, in men's middleweight quarterfinals.

The Philippines had four golds, one silver and 13 bronzes so far.


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