Mariya Takahashi defends SEA Games 2019 judo gold


SAN FERNANDO, Philippines – Mariya Takahashi came from behind to defend her Southeast Asian Games judo title in the women's -70kg event on Friday, December 6 at the Laus Convention Center. 

Playing in a round-robin format, Takahashi bounced back from her opening loss to Indonesia's Gusti Kakihara with an ippon over Thailand's Surattana Thongsri at the 1:55 mark to deliver Philippine judo's third gold medal in the country's staging of the regional biennial meet. 

Thongsri only prevailed over Indonesia's Gusti Kakihara via waza-ari in the second round robin bout, while Kakihara won over Takahashi via the second highest score as well, which gifted the Filipino-Japanese with the top spot. 

The 18-year-old judoka salvaged Philippine judo's medal hopes in the day's events as gold medal hopefuls Ryoko Salinas, Shin Matsumura, John Ferrer and Carl Aseneta were booted out of their respective events, but were able to bag bronze medal finishes in the repechage. 

Takahashi adds to the golden haul of Philippine Tokyo 2020 Olympics hopeful Kiyomi Watanabe and Shugen Nakano, which they both clinched last Thursday, December 5. – 

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.