Shugen Nakano opens the Philippines campaign in the 18th Asian Games judo competition when he sees action in the men’s -66 kgs at the Jakarta Convention Center Plenary Hall on Wednesday.
Ranked No. 157 in the International Judo Federation, Shagano’s opponent was still being determined during the draw scheduled later on Tuesday during the team managers meeting, according to Philippine Judo Federation president Dave Carter.
Nakano is bringing his credentials as a bronze medalist in last year’s Malaysian Southeast Asian Games.
SEA Games gold medalists Kiyomi Watanabe and Mariya Takahashi, on the other hand, take the floor on Thursday in the women’s -63 kgs and -70 kgs, respectively. Their fellow Filipino-Japanese Megumi Kurayoshi will vie for honors in the -53 kgs class.
Nakano’s twin brother Keisei, who also clinched bronze in Malaysia last year, will vie in the men’s -73 kgs, while Kohei Nakagura wraps up the country’s campaign in the Japanese martial art on August 31 in the men’s -90 kgs.
No Filipino has won a medal since judo became a medal sport in the Asian Games in Seoul in 1986. But Carter said he is optimistic that the current judokas could break the 22-year-old medal drought here.