A star rises
Following Judo’s golden girl Kiyomi Watanabe’s gold finish yesterday, fellow Filipino-Japanese Mariya Takahashi stunned four-time SEA Games medalist Surratana Thongsri (Thailand) to win the women’s -70kg division of the 29th Southeast Asian Games Judo tournament, Sunday evening at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre in Malaysia.
This is the second gold medal brought home by the Philippine Judo Federation and the 21st overall for the Philippines.
“I’m very happy,” Takahashi said through an interpreter.
In the final, the 16-year-old toppled Surattana Thongsri by securing a leg trip seconds into the contest. The young judoka carefully transitioned to a pin to secure the win via ippon.
Takahashi drew a bye in the preliminaries before clobbering Thi Dieu Tien Nguyen of Vietnam in the semifinals. She then dethroned the prolific Thai judoka en route to awarding the Philippines its second gold medal and fifth overall in judo.
And Takahashi will get to defend her crown on home soil come the 2019 Games.
Sydney Tancontian was able to bag bronze in the men’s -78kg division.
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