Kiyomi Watanabe rolls to golden SEA Games 4-peat

CLARK, Pampanga – Kiyomi Watanabe remained unstoppable in Southeast Asian judo as the Filipino-Japanese won her fourth straight regional gold on Thursday, December 5 at the Laus Group Event Centre in San Fernando, Pampanga. 

Watanabe defeated Malaysia's Nik Norbaizura Nik Azman in the 2019 SEA Games women's -63kg final  in a victory that not only underscored her dominance in the region but also boosted her bid to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 

Ranked world No. 23 in her weight class,  Watanabe aims to stay inside the top 26 to clinch a berth in the quadrennial meet. 

The 23-year-old standout bagged the silver in the 2018 Asian Games judo tournament. 

Meanwhile, Shugen Nakano improved his bronze medal finish in the 2017 edition after edging out Indonesia's Budi Praseityo to also bag the gold in the men's -66kg event.

On the other hand, Khrizzie Pabulayan and Keisei Nakano settled for 3rd place finishes in the women's -52kg and the men's -73kg events, while Rena Furukawa also won a bronze in the women's -57kg. – 





Beatrice Go

More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.