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Pinoy judokas still struggling

(Photo from Philippine Judo Federation / Facebook)

HANGZHOU, China — The struggle continues for the national judo squad as Dylwynn Gimena and Carl Dave Aseneta bombed out in the 19th Asian Games at the Xiaoshan Linpu Gymnasium here on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old Gimena fell prey to Khuslen Otgonbayar of Mongolia via ippon in the Round of 16 of the women’s -78-kilogram class while the 26-year-old Aseneta surrendered to Won Jonghoon of South Korea also via ippon in the Round of 16 of the men’s -100-kg event.

With that, the national squad suffered a shutout in individual events as all of its athletes failed to advance past the quarterfinals.

Their brightest hope in former Asian Games silver medalist Kiyomi Watanabe started hot as she beat her Vietnamese foe in the Round of 16 but fell prey to the Japanese top seed in the quarterfinals of the women’s -63-kg category.

Philippine Judo Federation secretary-general David Carter said their athletes were prepared but luck simply didn’t go their way.

“They were ready to compete but the luck of the draw didn’t go our way,” said Carter, whose wards were backed by the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee.

Also going home without individual medals are Leah Jhane Lopez (women’s -48-kg), Shugen Nakano (men’s -66-kg), Rena Furukawa (women’s 57-kg), John Viron Ferrer (men’s -80-kg), Ryoko Salinas (women’s -70-kg), and Kyodo Nakano (men’s -73-kg).

The Filipinos, however, still have a chance to come up with a strong finish as they compete in the mixed team event on the final day of competition on Wednesday.

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