Asian Games: PH judokas Shugen Nakano, Leah Lopez crash out
HANGZHOU, China—Judoka Shugen Nakano was shown the door by Japanese Ryoma Tanaka in the men’s -66kg round of 16 on Sunday in the 19th Asian Games at the Xiaoshan Linpu Gymnasium here.
The 26-year-old Southeast Asian Games gold medalist fell prey to the more assertive and fourth-ranked Tanaka, who completed his mastery of Nakano in just three minutes and five seconds.
Nakano started off on the right track when the Filipino-Japanese defeated Kuwait’s Saoud Alamiri via ippon earlier in the round of 32.
Joining Nakano to the exit was Leah Jane Lopez, who surrendered to No. 2 seed Abiba Abuzhakynova of Kazakhstan on the strength of a Waza-ari in the women’s -48kg category round of 16.
“Our judokas competed hard and played really well. Unfortunately, they were paired against the top seeds,” said Philippine Judo Federation secretary general Dave Carter.
Tanaka, 21, advanced to the quarterfinals opposite Narmandakh Bayanmunkh of the United Arab Emirates.
All is not lost, however, for Team Philippines since Tokyo Olympian Kiyomi Watanabe will take the mat on Monday in the women’s -63kg class where the Filipino-Japanese seized a silver medal in the 2018 Indonesia Asian Games.
Watanabe is a four-time SEA Games gold medalist and placed third in the prestigious International Judo Federation Grand Slam twice in 2017 Paris and 2018 Dusseldorf.