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    Fil-Japanese judoka Kiyomi Watanabe completes golden treble in SEA Games

    Aug 26, 2017
    Kiyomi Watanabe remains the top judoka in the -63 kg division in the SEA Games. Jerome Ascano

    KUALA LUMPUR - Kiyomi Watanabe bagged her third straight judo gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games, ruling the women's -63kg division on Saturday at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Hall 1.

    The Fil-Japanese judoka, who turned 21 on Friday, beat Thailand's Orapin Senatham via ippon after 36 seconds to snatch the gold medal.

    Watanabe beat Binti Niik Azman Nik Norlydiawati of Malaysia and Chu Myat Noe Wai of Myanmar, all via ippon, to arrange a rematch of the 2015 SEA Games final with Senatham.

    Watanabe was born in Cebu to a Japanese father and a Filipina mother before moving to Japan when she was 10 years old.

    Bronze medalist in the her first SEA Games in 2011, Watanabe said she was pressured to perform especially since she is now ranked No. 25 in the world and had been mentioned as a medal contender in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

    Watanabe was born in Cebu to a Japanese father and a Filipina mother before moving to Japan when she was 10 years old.

    Bronze medalist in the her first SEA Games in 2011, Watanabe said she was pressured to perform especially since she is now ranked No. 25 in the world and had been mentioned as a medal contender in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

    "It's not easy. There is pressure but I did my best for the country," said Watanabe through her mother Irene.

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    Kiyomi Watanabe remains the top judoka in the -63 kg division in the SEA Games. Jerome Ascano
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