Mariya Takahashi tops defending champ to win 2017 SEA Games judo
Mariya Takahashi tops defending champ to win 2017 SEA Games judo
Mariya Takahashi, aged 16, dethrones the 5-time gold medalist in her SEA Games debut


MANILA, Philippines – Mariya Takahashi took home the Philippines’ 21st gold medal overall after finishing on top of the women’s under 70 kg judo event on Sunday, August 27 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre in Malaysia. 

In her SEA Games debut, the 16-year-old Fil-Japanese judoka overcame defending champion Surattana Thongsri of Thailand, winning by ippon in 48 seconds in the women’s -70kg finals to deliver another gold medal for the Philippines. Thongsri had won the gold at every SEA Games since 2007 before being dethroned.

Mariya Takahashi of the Philippines competes against Surattana Thongsri of Thailand in the finals of the women's -70kg class of the 29th Southeast Asian Games judo competition at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center Hall 5. Takahashi prevailed via ippon in 48 seconds to win the gold medal. Photo from PSC-POC Media

Takahashi joins Kiyomi Watanabe in the list of PH gold medalists thus far. Watanabe had previously won her third straight title in the women’s under 63 kg judo event in the biennial games on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Sydney Sy also grabbed a bronze in the women’s under-78 kg judo event on Sunday. 

Sy, 17, defeated Chatthayaporn Prawiset of Thailand to secure a podium finish in her weight classification.

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