Paris Olympics

PH judoka Kiyomi Watanabe earns return trip to Olympics

Delfin Dioquino

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PH judoka Kiyomi Watanabe earns return trip to Olympics

JUDOKA. Kiyomi Watanabe in action in the 2017 Paris Grand Slam.

Filipina-Japanese judoka Kiyomi Watanabe secures a second straight Olympic stint as she formalizes her entry to the Paris Games

MANILA, Philippines – Filipina-Japanese judoka Kiyomi Watanabe will get another shot at Olympic glory.

Watanabe secured a second consecutive Olympic stint as she formalized her entry to the Paris Games, Philippine Judo Federation president Ali Sulit confirmed on Tuesday, June 25.

Ranked 92nd in the world in the women’s -63kg category, the 27-year-old clinched one of the two continental quotas reserved for Asia.

Although there were athletes from Asia ranked higher than Watanabe, she still got the spot as only a maximum of one per country can make it through the continental qualification across all weight categories and genders.

China’s Tang Jing nailed the other Asia quota.

A four-time champion in the Southeast Asian Games and a silver medalist in the Asian Games, Watanabe eyes a better Olympic showing after exiting the Tokyo Games in the first round.

Watanabe served as one of the Philippines’ flag bearers in Tokyo alongside boxer Eumir Marcial.

Her qualification for Paris means that the country will be represented in judo for the fourth straight Olympics – a streak that started when Tomohiko Hoshina donned the national colors in the 2012 London Games.

Leading the other qualifiers in the division is France’s Clarisse Agbegnenou, who aims to defend her throne at home court. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.