Mayra Aguiar of Brazil won her seventh title of the Pan-American Judo Championship, in Lima, Peru, and became the country’s most successful athlete in the competition. He won every fight with ippon and showed that he regained his form after the Olympic “drunk”. This is only his second competition since Tokyo and his first with a chest medal.
– I didn’t know there were seven, I didn’t count. I’m very happy, it’s a very relevant number. We have been on this journey for many years, since we were 14 years old with the Brazilian team, playing for titles, competitions. So, I am very happy for this more gold. This really motivates me. It was my second post-Olympic competition, I haven’t competed in a long time. It’s great to reach the top of the podium, very exciting for the next competition this year. I should have four or five in the end and I leave here very excited – evaluating Mayra, who is still 30 years old and about to go into her fifth Olympic cycle.
‘FOLD’ INTO Podium
The Brazilian team dominated the continent and closed the dispute with 15 medals, to seven gold, five silver and three bronze, and remained as the main power of America and Oceania, a novelty for this year. There are six medals on Friday, the first day of the individual competition, and nine on Saturday, the last day of the individual competition. Athletes return to the mat on Sunday for the mixed team competition.
The four “folds” that CBJ brought to Lima made it to the podium: Jéssica Lima (gold) and Rafaela Silva (bronze) bringing their best 57kg gain since 2013; Guilherme Schimidt (gold) and Vinícius Panini (silver) had the best results in Brazil at 81kg; Eric Takabatake (gold) and Willian Lima (Bronze), on the podium 66kg; and Luana Carvalho (silver) and Maria Portela (Bronze) share the 70kg podium. Everyone face each other in the lock.
Newcomer Amanda Lima came as a pleasant surprise, beating a more experienced athlete and establishing herself as one of the premier athletes in the lightweight (48kg) category on the continent, winning her first senior Pan-American title. The last 48kg to climb to the top of the podium at Pan was Sarah Menezes, in 2016.
The other two gold medals went to Larissa Pimenta (52kg) and Beatriz Souza (+78kg), who have dominated their respective categories and won their third continental championship in Lima.
– I am very happy with the result, with my performance, with my focus on the fight, I have come to defend my title and I am leaving here very happy to be here representing Brazil and bringing this medal – concluded Beatriz.
Silver was won by Panini (81kg), Marcelo Gomes (90kg), Rafael Buzacarini (100kg), Rafael Silva (+100kg), and Luana Carvalho (70kg). Marcelo was beaten by the vice world champion, Ivan Felipe Silva Morales, of Cuba; Buzacarini stops in Canada’s Shady Elnahas, number 3 in the world; Baby stops at controversial shidos in front of Andy Granda’s Cuban; Panini also lost on penalties, but to compatriot Schmidt; and Luana made a great debut competition, stopping at experienced Elvismar Rodriguez, from Venezuela, also in the penalty shootout.
Bronze went to Rafaela Silva (57kg), Willian Lima (66kg) and Maria Portela (70kg), who lost only to Brazil. Rafa stopped at Jessica, Willian in Eric and Portela in Luana, all in the semifinals.
Brazil also had Ryan Conceição (60kg), Ketleyn Quadros (63kg) and Daniel Cargnin (73kg) on the mat on Friday. Ryan dropped in his second bout and did not advance to a medal match in his first Pan. The Olympic medalist started well, with a win, but finished in 5th place. Ketleyn fell to Cindy Mera, of Colombia, for bronze, and Daniel was spared the final fight after suffering a blow to the ribs in the semifinals with Alonso Wong (PER).
Team debut against Australia
Team Brazil, the current Pan-American champions, will face Australia in the first round which goes to the quarter-finals. Then you can take the Dominican Republic or Mexico. A possible confrontation with Cuba will only occur in the final, if both developed countries are in brackets. Brazil will choose its main athlete for the competition and will also be joined by heavyweight Juscelino Nascimento Jr, who has only come to compete in teams.
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