Kiyomi Watanabe bags bronze in Paris to give Philippines first-ever medal in World Judo Tour
Kiyomi Watanabe salvages a bronze after bowing out of the semifinals in France, and will seek gold in Austria and Germany. Photo from ijf.org

FIL-Japanese judoka Kiyomi Watanabe made history for the Philippines by claiming a bronze medal in the International Judo Federation World Judo Tour Paris Grand Slam on Sunday.

Watanabe beat Lucy Renshall of Great Britain in the Under-63 kilogram division to give the Philippines its first-ever medal in the IJF World Judo Tour.

Watanabe ruled Pool D, beating Daniela Kazanoi of Belarus, Junxia Yang of China and Daria Davydova of Russia to gain a semifinal berth.

The gold medalist in the 2015 Southeast Asian Games was relegated to the repechage after bowing to Clarisse Agbegnenou of France in the semifinals, but took home a bronze when she defeated Renshall.

“We are hoping she maintains this type of performance,” said Philippine Judo Federation president Dave Carter.

“The people she defeated are top seeds higher than her. They are the same people who competed in Rio.”

Watanabe is set to compete in Austria and Germany events of the IJF Grand Prix 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports