Watanabe posts best effort in World Judo tilt

Watanabe posts best effort in World Judo tilt


Filipino-Japanese Kiyomi Watanabe gave it all her best but fell short in her medal quest in the 2019 World Judo Championships at the Nippon Budokan, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan.

Watanabe, an Asian Games silver medalist and multiple Southeast Asian Games gold medal winner, was bracketed in Pool D of their -63-kilogram division where she drew a first-round bye and beat Austrian Magdalena Krssakova in the next round.

The 19th seed and World No. 24 Watanabe’s hopes ended when she fell to Dutch Sanne Vermeer in the third round.

While she wasn’t able to bring home a medal, Watanabe’s experience there should be helpful as she prepares for the 30th Southeast Asian Games late this year in San Fernando, Pampanga.

Watanabe’s performance was the farthest a Philippine bet got after most of her teammates—Ma. Jeanalang Lopez (-48), Khrizzie Pabulayan (-52), Rena Furukawa (-57), Mariya Takahashi (-70), Bryn Quillotes (-60), Shugen Nakano (-66), Keisei Nakano (-73), Marco Tumampad (-81) and John Viron (-90)—fell by the wayside one after another.

Ryouko Salinas fell to Portugal’s Rochele Nunes in the women’s +78 class while Shin Matsumara succumbed to Belarus’ Aliaksandr Vakhaviak +100 with hopes.

It was not all lost for the Filipino judokas as they will try to carry their valuable experience in gunning for the gold in the SEAG.

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