HANOI — Four-time Southeast Asian Games champion Kiyomi Watanabe and two-time winner Mariya Takahashi are not on the national judo team competing in the 31st Vietnam Games, but the fort is ably being manned by three homegrown talents and four Fil-Japanese bets.
Ms. Watanabe is out with a knee injury while Ms. Takahashi is attending to his academic requirements, according to Philippine Judo Federation secretary general Dave Carter.
The Philippines finished third overall in the judo competition of the 2019 Games with three gold medals courtesy of Ms. Watanabe, Ms. Takahashi and Shuen Nagano; one silver and nine bronze medals. Vietnam dominated action with a haul of 7-2-3, followed by Indonesia (4-2-4).
Not to worry, said Mr. Carter, adding homegrown bets Daryl John Mercado, Bryn Quillotes and John Viron Ferrer, along with Mr. Nakano, his elder brother Keisei, and fellow Fil-Japanese Rena Furukawa and Megumi Delgado are raring to lead the 17-member national team to glory.
Judo action gets going on Wednesday at the Hoai Duc Gymnasium with both officials confident their wards are up to the task.
Completing the national team are Khrizze Pabulayan, Leah Jane Lopez, Ma. Jeanalane Lopez, Dylwynn Keith Gimena and Carl Dave Aseneta in the combat side of the disciple while competing in kata (form) are Daryl John Mercado and Alvin Mendoza in the men’s class and Andrea Camille Divina, King Jewel Rafael and Joemarie Gimena in the distaff side.