Filipino-Japanese Kiyomi Sarausad Watanabe delivered the country’s lone gold medal in the 8th Asian Cadet Judo Championship-15th Asian Junior Judo Championship held in Hong Kong.
Watanabe, the reigning Southeast Asian Games champion, outclassed Aigerim Abilkadirova of Kazakhstan in the finals to pocket the gold medal in the girls’ under 63-kilogram division.
Watanabe made it to the finals by ousting Renu Kundu of India in the semifinals and Tursunpashsha Nurmetova of Uzbekistan in the quarterfinals. She earned an opening round bye.
“My focus right now is the Southeast Asian Games next year in Singapore because I want to defend my title. I also want to qualify to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,” said Watanabe, a bronze medalist in the 2011 SEA Games in Palembang, Indonesia before winning her gold in the 2013 edition in Naypyitaw, Myanmar.
Other Filipino bets Bianca Mae Estrella, Dither Tablan and Renzo Miguel Cazenas failed to advance to the medal round in their respective categories.
Estrella bowed to Lee Wan Tzu of Taiwan in the quarterfinals of the girls’ under 78-kg. class.
Tablan succumbed to eventual champion Go Haishima of Japan in the first round of the boys’ over 90-kg. then absorbed another setback in the repechage stage against Sachin Mann of India.
Cazenas had the same fate as he surrendered his first-round match to Urol Khusanov of Uzbekistan before losing to Dee Pak of India in the repechage. Khusanov went on to win the gold medal.