SEA Games: PH's Kiyomi Watanabe dominates in judo, scores another gold

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 26 2017 06:29 PM | Updated as of Aug 26 2017 09:34 PM

Three-time SEA Games judo champion Kiyomi Watanabe of the Philippines savors the taste of victory. PSC/POC pool

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Filipino-Japanese judoka Kiyomi Watanabe needed less than a minute to secure a gold medal for the Philippines in the Southeast Asian Games here.

Facing Thailand's Orapin Senatham in the final of the women's under 63-kilogram division, Watanabe won via ippon after only about 36 seconds.

Her triumph gave the Philippines its second gold medal of Saturday and 17th overall in these Games.

It was a belated birthday gift for Watanabe, who also dominated her weight division in the 2013 and 2015 SEA Games. She turned 21 on Friday. 

Watanabe crushed Malaysia's Nik Binti Nik Azman in the quarterfinals, then made quick work of Myanmar's N Chu Myat in the semis.

"It was not easy, but she did her best for the country," said her mother Irene, who acted as Watanabe's translator. 

Watanabe was born in Cebu City, but migrated to Japan at the age of 10.

Meanwhile, the Nakano twins went home with bronzes.

Keisei downed Laos' Uen Nouvene in the repechage of the under-73-kilogram division via ippon, while Shugen outlasted Singapore's Ace Ang in the repechage of the under-66-kilogram division.

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