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Report of the Pan American Judo Championships 2000 in Orlando Day 2
11 Nov 2000 22:05
Day two of the 2000 Pan American Judo Championships saw the lightweights compete, including two extra lightweight categories that are unique among the four continental championships: -44kg for women and –55kg for men. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we also saw the men's open weight contested. Women –44kg -44kg was a small category in number as well as in weight, having only 5 entries. Again, this resulted in a round robin format. Susej Oliveros (VEN) came out on top with 31 out of a possible 40 points.
She won all her matches by ippon except the last one, which she won by forfeit. On route to her gold medal she overcame Xochilt Rodriguez (NCA) by ippon with a left uchimata, Katherine Ensler (USA) by ippon with juji-gatame and Isabel Latulippe (CAN) who she also beat by ippon. The silver medal went to Ensler who won two fights with osae-komi-waza, scoring yuko over Latulippe with kuzure-yoko-shiho-gatame and ippon over Rodriguez with sangaku-kata-gatame. The bronze medal was given to Latulippe who defeated Rodriguez with tate-shiho-gatame.
The –55kg category included only 7 fighters and Rashad Chin (CAN) was the odd man out, receiving a bye through to the quarter-finals where he met Sebastian Paz (ARG). Paz beat him with ko-soto-gari for waza-ari to advance to the final against Juan Roman (PUR). In the repechage Chin faced Israel Berrios (ESA) whom he threw twice with drop seoinage, the second time scoring ippon to take a bronze medal. In the other bronze medal match up, last year's silver medallist, Hiram Cruz (USA) had his hands full with Juan Paula (DOM). Paula threw him for three yukos with de-ashi-barai, o-uchi-gari and finally uchi-mata to win a bronze. The final featured Juan Roman (PUR) and Paz (ARG). After the referee awarded a shido to Paz in the opening seconds of the match, both men kicked it up a gear. But it was the Puerto Rican who struck first with a low kata-guruma to win his country's only gold of these championships to the delight of the many Puerto Ricans in attendance.
Eight women fought in the –48kg category, meaning half of them would leave with a medal. Starting with the bronze medals, we saw Junior World silver medallist Sayaka Matsumoto (USA) against Kris Soto (VEN). Matsumoto threatened to score early in the match with an uchimata, but failed to get enough pull on her opponent's sleeve hand to finish the throw. The rest of the match was a battle for grips and that resulted in a 2-1 decision in favour of the American. In the other bronze medal match up Mariana Martins (BRA) made short work of Nadia Bravo (ARG), armlocking her with juji-gatame at the 1:30 second mark.The final saw Cynthia Tan (CAN) up against Adriana Losada (MEX). Tan nearly scored early with a left seoinage and clearly dominated the match despite not putting any points on the board. Interestingly, the referee's decision was in favour of the Mexican, while both corner judges raised the blue flag giving Tan two out of three votes for the decision.
The –60kg category was the largest of the tournament with 12 competitors including last year's champion, Emiliano Sosa (ARG). Sosa beat Hector Galloza (PUR) in his first match, but was stopped in the quarter-finals by Brazil's Denilson Lourenco and was forced to fight through the repechage for a bronze. In the repechage he was set to face Juan Maria Santa (PAN), but the Panamanian withdrew, setting up a bronze medal match between Sosa and Cristobal Aburto (MEX). This was a frustrating affair as both fighters were penalised to keikoku for non-combativity. However, thanks to a couple of early scores from Sosa coming from seoinage (yuko) and te-guruma (koka), he came out the winner. The second bronze featured a two time bronze medallist, Juan Jacinto (DOM). Jacinto won bronze medals at the 1998 Pan Am Championships in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada. He added a third bronze to his collection with an excellent seoi-otoshi to score ippon in just over a minute. Meanwhile, the silver medallist from the 1999 Pan American Games was looking to do one better at these championships. Lourenco was the only male athlete from Brazil at these championships and came here with only one thing on his mind, a gold medal.. He was well on his way with to achieving that aim with a second round ippon victory over Sosa, the reining Pan American champion. He then faced Antonio Rivas (ARG) and held him down with tate-shiho-gatame for another ippon win. This took him to the final against a Daniel Simmard (CAN). Simmard had had a busy couple of weeks leading up to these championships, taking medals at both the US Open (gold) and Rendezvous Canada (bronze). After ippon victories over Felipe Novoa (CHI) and Aburto (MEX), Simmard earned a spot in the final and hoped to add Pan Am gold to his resume. The final between Lourenco and Simmard began with the Canadian being penalised for a false attack. He quickly responded with an o-uchi-gari attack, but was pushed down by Lourenco and fell behind by another koka. The strong overhand grip of Lourenco was a major factor and Simmard had trouble putting in any decent attacks. Eventually he did attack again and was countered for a waza-ari. This proved to be the decisive score, giving Lourenco his gold.
Once again we saw a round robin format as this category had only 5 combatants. Charlee Minkin, whose sister Davina was also fighting today in the –57kg category, was the winner of this group. Minkin was coming off recent bronze medal showings on the North American Judo Tour and had a strong day finishing all of her opponents off with ippon. Emi Tasaka (CAN) had the next best record with 3 ippon victories. Tasaka scored quick wins against Rubenia Castro (ESA), whom she choked out in 40 seconds with kata-te-jime, and Elizabeth Melendez (PUR) whom she threw in 1:23 seconds with a nice sode-tsurikomi-goshi. Her third victory was against Jakelin Diaz (VEN). Melendez picked up the bronze based her two wins.
-66kg was a strong field that boasted a number of former Pan American medallists including Ludwig Ortiz (VEN), Miguel Moreno (ESA) and Alex Ottiano (USA). Indeed each of these fighters lived up to their billing and all collected medals, but it was Ortiz who stood at the top of the podium. However, one man tried to make it as difficult as possible for all of them; that man was a newcomer on the Pan American scene by the name of Faycal Bousbiat. Bousbiat, who is originally from Algeria, received his Canadian citizenship a year and a half ago and now fights under the Canadian flag. He had previously represented Algeria at the World Championships placing as high as 5th place. Bousbiat made his presence known in his first Pan American Championships with impressive victories over Ottiano and Moreno on his way to a spot in the final against Ortiz. He beat Ottiano with a de-ashi-barai that scored a yuko and threw Moreno for ippon with kata-guruma. As a result, both Moreno and Ottiano were relegated to the repechage where the fought back to each win 3 repechage fights and receive bronze medals. The final between Bousbiat and Ortiz ended in some confusion as many in attendance thought that the contest should have ended in a decision due to a last second chui against Ortiz, but a look at the scoreboard soon confirmed that this was not the case as Ortiz was ahead by a koka. Bousbiat opened the scoring with a koka from tomoe-nage, but was later penalised for staying in the red area for too long. This evened the score and with 30 seconds remaining he was penalised again for non-combativity. This gave Ortiz the lead. In the last second, Ortiz was also penalised for non-combativity, but as this was only worth a shido to Bousbiat it was not enough to even the score. The result was a gold medal for Ludwig Ortiz or Argentina.
Six women were entered in the –57kg category including 3-time Canadian Olympian and former Pan American champion, Michelle Buckingham. Buckingham, who last won the Pan Am title in 1997 at –61kg, came out of retirement in 1999 after a year lay off and was out to reclaim her title. This was made easier with a bye in the first round, but in the second round she faced 1998 bronze medallist, Claudia Quinteros (ARG). She threw the Argentinean with morote-gari, ko-soto-gari and finally held her with tate-shiho-gatame for ippon. This led to a spot in the final against 1999 bronze medallist, Tania Ferreira (BRA). Ferreira had won her previous two bouts with powerful throws -- uchimata and sode-tsurikomi-goshi. The final therefore looked to be an exciting one. It began with the taller Ferreira overpowering Buckingham with a strong overhand grip, but the experienced Canadian was able to overcome this disadvantage despite receiving a penalty for avoiding gripping and scored a nice yuko with o-uchi-gari moments later. This proved decisive and other than Ferreira being penalised for same side gripping, there were no other scores in the 5-minute match. The win gave Canada their 5th gold of the championships to lead the gold medal count. The bronze medals were won by Davina Minkin (USA). Minkin's sister had earlier won a bronze in the –52kg category. Minkin defeated Quinteros with a very neat sumi-gaeshi rollover that she used to secure a holddown with ushiro-kesa-gatame. Meanwhile, Vitcelis Boraure (VEN) won the other bronze with a quick morote-seoinage victory over Roxana Garcia (PUR).
With 8 competitors in the –73kg category, each player began with a spot in the quarter-finals, however it was Orlando Fuentes (USA), Yamil Delgado (PUR), Francois Marceau (CAN) and Antonio Parra (DOM) who made it to the semi-finals. In the Pool A semi Fuentes beat Delgado with an ippon. Pool B saw Marceau throw Parra for ten with harai-goshi. In the repechage Lucas Landolfi (ARG) beat Jamal Grovesnor (BAR) and Parra after losing to Orlando Fuentes in his first match to leave Florida with a bronze medal. Richard Leon (VEN) followed a similar path, losing to Marceau in his first fight and then winning two straight in the repechage to take the other bronze medal.
Registration for the men's open took place at 10:30am on the morning of competition and 7 fighters ranging in weight from –90kg to over 100kg entered. Due to a lack of entries there was no women's open. Joel Brutus (HAI) was looking to vindicate a disqualification he received yesterday due to a bloody nose in the +100kg category. However, his gold medal hopes were dashed in the semi-finals when he lost to Orlando Baccino (ARG) in a decision. Brutus dropped into the repechage and beat Victor Sanchez (COL) to claim Haiti's only medal of the championships. The other bronze went to Carlos Santiago (PUR) after he defeated Reinaldo Vargas (VEN) with a koka. The open final was everything that the open is supposed to be; in the match between Gabriel Lama (CHI) and Orlando Baccino (ARG) we saw a smaller –90kg player take on a true heavyweight in an entertaining final. After losing a very close split decision in the –90kg final the day before, Lama was eager to take home a gold this time round. He began his quest for gold with a win over –100kg player, Victor Sanchez. Lama made short work of the heavier Sanchez, holding him for ippon in 50 seconds with kuzure-kami-shiho-gatame. In his next fight he defeated Venezuela's +100kg bronze medallist, Reinaldo Vargas with a te-guruma that scored him a yuko. This win put him in the final against Baccino. Bacinno had already polished off –90kg bronze medal winner, Jose Boissard (DOM) with a big tani-otoshi and then got past Joel Brutus with a decision. The final began with both fighters sizing each other up, unfortunately it took a little longer than it should have and they both received shido penalties for non-combativity. Lama picked up the pace and put in a number of good attacks over the next few minutes but just couldn't move the bigger Argentinean enough to finish any of his techniques. However, the superior fitness of Lama began to show through as he outworked his opponent and Baccino received two more non-combativity penalties putting him behind by a waza-ari and dangerously close to receiving hansoku-make. With just over half a minute left, Lama finally scored with a nice ko-uchi-gari, but his waza-ari was already enough to win and he claimed his open weight gold. Lama also received the Best Player Award for the championships as a result of his two medals. He said afterwards that he was honoured to win the award and that he is very happy to have his judo recognised by this award. Lama will now return to South America to train in Chile and Brazil in preparation for next year's European circuit and the World Championships in Munich.
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