Anything possible for Watanabe

The Philippine Star
Anything possible for Watanabe
Kiyomi Watanabe
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Just like in the last Asian Games, Kiyomi Watanabe is capable of pulling off a surprise in the coming Tokyo Olympics.

Dave Carter, president of the Philippine Judo Federation (PJF), said Watanabe winning a medal, much more a first Olympic gold for the country, is very possible given the track record of the 24-year-old Fil-Japanese in the sport.

He cited Watanabe’s silver medal feat in the 2018 Asiad in Jakarta where she came close to winning the gold, but eventually settled for a runner-up finish against Nami Nabekura of Japan in the women’s -63 kg class.

“Kagaya lang din nung lumaban siya ng Asian Games nung nakaraan. It happened. She defeated Korea and the others na nandun sa bracket niya. Kaya anything is possible talaga,” Carter told the online PSA Forum yesterday.

“Lahat possible. Hindi natin nililimitahan yung kakayanan ng ating manlalaro. Malakas itong player natin na ito, pati yung puso niya. Talagang fighter ito,” he added.

Watanabe clinched a berth in the Tokyo Games via continental quota as certified by the International Judo Federation, becoming the first Filipina judoka to make the Olympics, and the third straight Philippine bet in judo to see action in the quadrennial meet after Tomohiko Hoshina and Kodo Nakano in the 2012 London and 2016 Rio de Janeiro editions, respectively.

And the 39th ranked player in the world is wasting no time getting to prepare for the biggest fight of her career.

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