Tokyo Olympics: Elbow holds out for PH judoster Watanabe

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Kiyomi Watanebe of the Philippines (white) will face Oran Senetham of Thailand (blue) in the women’s 63 kg class of the 29th Judo Competition of the Southeast Asian Games. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/SEA GAMES MEDIA POOL

TOKYO — Filipino judo star Kiyomi Watanabe believes her injured elbow will hold up as she hunts for an Olympic medal here.

The “elbow hasn’t fully healed yet,” Watanabe recently told Inquirer’s SportsIQ in Japanese. “[But] it already has power, so I don’t think it will be a problem.”

Watanabe has had an injured elbow for some time and is also hampered by training environments cramped by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Due to COVID-19, I tried my best to practice in a limited environment. I do weights, judo training in Yamanashi (prefecture) or Tokyo with the Waseda (university team),” said 24-year-old Watanabe.

Watanabe will be in action on July 27 during the preliminaries of the -63 kilograms in the women.

“[M]The goal is to win a medal, so I’m just going to do my best to achieve that goal, and I hope everyone will continue to support me,” Watanabe said.

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