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    Shugen Nakano makes late turnaround to win gold in -66kg category of judo

    Dec 5, 2019
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño

    SAN Fernando, Pampanga - Shugen Nakano joined the party after winning gold in the -66kg category of the judo competition in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.

    The Filipino judoka managed to pull off a last-minute ippon (one full point) over Indonesia to secure gold.

    Before Nakano's ippon, INA's Budi Prasetiyo scored a single point after dragging the PH bet to the ground.

    With just 17 seconds left, Nakano turned the tables around to clinch the gold.

    The 23-year-old Nakano owes it all to the unwavering encouragement of his Filipino fans, which served as his internal foundation for grabbing the award.

    He said through a translator: “Dahil sa suporta ng mga Pilipino kaya ako naka-gold. ‘Yung lakas ko, nanggaling talaga sa mga suporta. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!”

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    In the -73kg division, Shugen’s twin brother Keisei clinched bronze after slipping an ippon over Myanmar's Koq Ram Sai Aung with just 1:28 minutes. K. Nakano shared the third place podium with Singapore.

    Gilbert Ramirez also beat Laos' Chitskon Xayasan to clinch silver in the -81kg category.

    The 36-year-old amirez admitted that he did his best to have shrugged-off his injury to be able to perform his supposed final campaign in the SEA Games.

    “Medyo matigas ‘yung katawan ko, tsaka ilang po ako gumalaw kasi baka mamaya ma-injure po uli. Tulad kanina, may tumira sa’kin uchi-gari. Pinilit ko lang umikot, bahala na kung mabali," he said. "Balak ko po na po kasi mag-retiro para makapasok ‘yung ibang players natin, kasi sayang."

    PH coach Franco Teves, however, would like to give credit where it is due, to the Japanese coaches of the Nakano brothers.

    "Sila po based sa Japan. Dun sila nag-training. Dun sila nag-judo, nag-umpisa sa Japan. May sarili po silang coach kaso hindi nakakapunta dito," he shared.

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    PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño
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