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SEA Games gold medalist receives cash reward

| by: Hearty Marie Rizarri

Cebuana athlete Kiyumi Watanabe who brought home a gold medal for the Philippines from the recently concluded 28th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) held in Singapore last June 7 will receive cash incentive from the Cebu Provincial Government.

In yesterday’s regular session, the provincial board approved Php 25,000 as cash incentive for Watanabe’s achievement in the Women’s Judo competition in the 63-kilogram category.  The resolution was sponsored by PB member Raul Alcoseba, co-chairman of the Cebu Provincial Sports Commission (CPSC).

“It is proper and fitting that we should give commendation for her great achievement and support her dreams and future endeavors in Judo competitions,” said the resolution.

The budget will come from the CPSC under the Office of the Governor.

The 18-year-old Filipino-Japanese Watanabe finished off Thailander Orapin Senathan with ippon in 3:36 to clinch the top prize, after beating Singaporean bronze medalist Tania Forichon in her first match after hurdling the other bronze winner, Thi Huong Nguyen of Vietnam in her second match.

Watanabe started judo as a fifth-grader and was groomed to be part of the Japanese national team but carried the Philippine flag in the 26th SEA Games in Jakarta, Indonesia where she finished with a bronze medal. Last year, she brought home the gold medal in the 27th SEA Games held in Myanmar and in this year’s SEA Games, she again captured the gold medal.

Watanabe was born in Cebu City to a Cebuana mother and a Japanese father. Her family moved to Japan when she was eight years old.