Klaus Müller / Watch: https://km-pics.de/
Brazil was the strongest nation at the Pan American Cadet Championships in Cali, in Colombia. On the first day, the Brazilian squad won a total of nine gold medals and three silvers and three bronzes. The USA was second with three titles, followed by Colombia and Venezuela, both two titles. For Canada six medals but without a title.
Canadian Asia Douglas (+70 kg) won a silver medal. She started her day by eliminating Mexican Maria Landa, then American Natalija Stanojevic, to reach the finale. Asia Douglas was up against Brazilian Anna Santos in a fight where her opponent was a lot heavier and took advantage of it.
“I think the Brazilian must have been 50 kg heavier than Asia, and Asia is only 14 years old,” explained coach Alexandre Emond. “She was much heavier and it was hard for Asia, but she gave a good performance.”
Evelyn Beaton (-44 kg) had a similar day on Friday. The judoka first defeated American Anat Tsyrlin and Venezuelan Maria Gimenez, the winner of the Youth Olympic Games in 2018.
In the final, Evelyn Beaton lost against Venezuelan Fabiola Diaz, and lost her chance for a gold medal. “It was very, very tight, and it went into overtime,” said Emond. “Her opponent was more aggressive and was attacking a lot. Evelyn lost by penalty.”
Brae Booth (-70 kg) will be coming home with a bronze medal around her neck. After winning against Argentinian Fiona Cuneo, Booth lost against Brazilian Luana Carvalho. The Canadian came back strong for her bronze-medal contest and defeated Columbian Valeria Guerrero. Klavdia Danilkov (-48 kg) also stood on the third step of the podium.
On the boy’s team of Canada, silver medallist Amr Abd Elrehim (U90 kg) was the only Canadian to win a medal. He lost his final match against Brazilian Kayo Santos in the last second of the final.
“It all happened in the end when Amr lacked a little cardio. Santos used it to throw him and took advantage when they were almost out of time, and that’s when Amr lost,” explained Emond.
“Those with more experience performed well, while the others were taken by surprise by the South American style, that’s much more aggressive than European or Canadian judo. We could have done better, but the athletes learned a lot,” concluded the coach.
The tournament will be continuing on Saturday with the Junior Pan American Championships, during which the U18 athletes who were in action on Friday will be facing the U21 judokas.