Kiyomi Watanabe makes history as 1st Filipina Olympian in Judo

Kiyomi Watanabe 1st Filipino Olympian Judo
Filipino-Japanese judoka Kiyomi Watanabe makes history as the Philippines’ first Olympian in judo. Photo from SEAG Network FB.

The Philippines’ national judoka Kiyomi Watanabe has qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in July, becoming the country’s first-ever Filipina Olympian in judo.

The Filipino-Japanese athlete secured a continental quota for the Games in the women’s -63kg division, according to the list released by the International Judo Federation (IJF) on June 22, 2021.

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Watanabe, an Asian Games silver medalist in 2018, currently has 1,506 points, putting her in the 41st spot in the latest judo Olympic world ranking.

The country’s top judoka, who was born in Cebu to a Filipino mother and Japanese father, also previously delivered gold medals for Team Philippines in 2017, 2015, and 2013 at the South East Asian Games.

The Philippines’ first representative to the Tokyo Olympics in Judo, Kiyomi Watanabe, joins fellow Olympians including golfer Juvic Pagunsan, Filipino shooter Jayson Valdez, boxers Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam, Irish Magno and Eumir Felix Marcial, pole vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnast Carlos Yulo, skateboarder Margielyn Didal, taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa, rower Cris Nievarez and weightlifters Hidilyn Diaz and Elreen Ando.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to the Philippines’ national judoka Kiyomi Watanabe who has qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in July as the country’s first-ever Filipina Olympian in judo.

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.