TOKYO 2020 Olympics hopeful Kiyomi Watanabe clinched a bronze medal in the women’s 63- kilogram category of the Dusseldorf Grand Slam of Judo last Sunday in Germany.The 21-year-old Filipino-Japanase is being groomed by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) as one of its priority athletes for the Tokyo Games. Her third-place in one of the International Judo Federation World Tour events this year made her a potential qualifier for the next Summer Games.

Watanabe beat Brazilian Ketleyn Quadros by ippon in the 2:36-minute mark of the bronze medal match. Earlier in the event, she disposed of Great Britain’s Lucy Renshall and France’s Maelle Di Cintio. She lost to Mongolian Gankhaich Bold in the quarterfinals but redeemed herself against the Brazilian. Andreja Leski of Slovenia bagged the gold, while Megumi Tsugane took the silver.Because of her young age, Watanabe is being eyed to qualify for up to three Olympic cycles—Tokyo, 2024 in Paris and 2028 in Los Angeles. 

Last year the PSC pledged to support Watanabe, who also clinched a bronze medal in one International Judo Federation World Tour tournament in Paris, silver in the European Judo Open in Austria and gold in the Asian Judo Open.Watanabe is currently 24th in the world rankings.

By: Ramon Rafael C. Bonilla | Source: