SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga (UPDATE)—Kiyomi Watanabe successfully defended her Southeast Asian Games judo title at Laus Group Events Center here on Thursday.
Shugen Nakano, a Filipino raised in Japan like Watanabe and many of the hosts’ judokas competing here, also won gold.
It was almost an anti-climactic result for Watanabe, who overmatched her opponents in the women’s under-63-kg division.
The 23-year-old first beat Azman Nik Nik of Malaysia then defeated C Wai Noe of Myanmar to add to a medal collection that includes gold medals in the 2013, 2015 and 2017 SEA Games, and a silver in the 2018 Asian Games.
“Thank you for your support in winning the gold medal,” Watanabe said. “I’m very happy.”
Nakano had a more unpredictable road to victory in the under-66-kg category.
He was down by a point to B Prasetiyo when he pulled off a clean throw in the dying seconds of their gold-medal clash.
This was more than enough to turn the tables on Prasetiyo, thereby securing the title for Nakano.
“Dahil sa suporta ng Pilipino kaya ako nanalo. ’Yung lakas, nanggaling sa suporta n’yo,” he said through an interpreter.
Nakano’s twin, Keisei, secured a bronze in the under 73kg division, while Rena Furakawa and Khrissie Pabulayan also brought home bronze medals in the women’s und
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.