Watanabe Settles for Silver in Judo

by | Aug 31, 2018

JAKARTA—Filipino-Japanese Kiyomi Watanabe faced a top-ranked Japanese in women’s –63 kgs of judo and fell, 10-0, to settle for the country’s first silver medal in the 18th Asian Games on Thursday night at the Jakarta Convention Center Plenary Hall.

Nami Nabekura displayed the form that put her 16 rungs abobe Watanabe in the world rankings by forcing the Filipino-Japanese to lose his balance in the first minute for a waza-ari that was equivalent to one point.

Watanabe was pinned down for 10 seconds in the 3:21 seconds of the match for the second waza-ari to lose the match via Ippon.

“Coming to this, I am the challenger,” said the 22-year-old Watanabe, a Sports Science student at Waseda University in Tokyo.

“We had a game plan but I was so nervous before the game and could not execute. I know her because we often met in tournament in Japan,” she said. “But she is now much stronger than me because she often competes.”

Watanabe, however, improved on her seventh-place finishb in the Incheon 2014 Asian Games.

Despite failing to get the country’s fifth gold medal, Watanabe said she is already so happy with her first silver medal and his contribution to the country’s campaign.

“I didn’t have a medal in my first Asian Games. I am so happy with this medal. I hope to continue playing for the Philippines,” she said.

Watanabe advanced to the semifinals, needing only one minute and 17 seconds to win by Ippon over world No. 204 Orapin Senathan of Thailand .  Watanabe repeated over Senathan whom she beat for the gold in 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.

Mariya Takahashi, on the other hand, could not get past the quarterfinals also on Thursday. But she stayed in the hunt in the women’s -70 kgs following her victory via Ippon in 1:21 over five-time SEA Games champion Surattana Thongsri also of Thailand.

The 17-year-old Takahashi lost via ippon (1:01, 0-11) to defending champion and 2014 Incheon Games gold  medalist Seongyeon Kim Korea in the quarterfinals.

Takahashi needed to go through the repechage but lost to Naranjargal Tsend-Ayush of Mongolia via a full point and two Wazaris.

Eliminated early was Megumi Kurayoshi in the women’s -57 kgs. She lost via Ippon in two minutes and 44 seconds to IJF world No. 30 and World Cup silver medalist Leung Po Sum of Hong Kong.

Keisie Nagano won first match against Eyal Salman Younis of Jordan in the men’s -73 kgsround of 32 via Wza-ari in four minutes, but could not contain Mohammad Mohammadi Barimanlou of Iran, yielding via Ippon in 0:55 seconds in the round of 16.


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