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Canucks Win 16 Medals at Junior Pan Ams

August 26, 2023

SANTIAGO, Chile—The largest team of Canadian karatekas ever assembled to fight at the Junior Pan American Championships combined to win six gold, four silver and six bronze medals in Kumite and Kata events in Santiago, Chile.

Six Canucks scrapped their way to the top step of the podium throughout the three-day affair. Megan Rouchette, who will turn 21 in just four days, took top spot in the women’s U21 kumite -55kg class.

“I was fortunate to win gold in my first Pan American Championships when I was 13 years old, and to now win again at my last Pan Ams is a perfect way to finish my junior career,” said Rouchette, who hails from Gatineau, Que.

Lily-Rose Nolet, who will be back in Santiago in two months’ time when she will compete for Canada at the Pan American Games, had a perfect trial run in South America, winning the U21 women’s +68kg division.

“I am really excited to earn the top spot on the podium this weekend,” said Nolet, who also calls Gatineau, Que. home. “It was a great preparation for the World Combat Games, and the Pan American Games that are coming up.”

Four other Canadian youngsters were crowned Pan American champs. Cadence Truong (Markham, Ont.) took the women’s Kata cadet title. Marianna Guerrero (Kitchener, Ont.) won the women’s +61kg cadet kumite bracket, while Aryun Kohi completed the golden hat trick for Ontario athletes after winning the men’s -70kg kumite class for cadet age group athletes. Omar Almishri (Calgary) won the final gold medal of the weekend on Sunday in the junior men’s -75kg Kumite competition.

The 89-member Canadian squad also racked up four silver medals. Cassidy Truong teamed up with Brooklyn Carter and Shenaya Halahackone – all from Ontario – to finish second in the women’s Team Kata event. Shon Zinger, who attends York University near Toronto, lost the gold medal bout in the U21 men’s Kumite –60kg class. Emmi German will bring a silver medal back to Cole Harbour, N.S. after finishing second in the women’s cadet -54kg Kumite division, while Helitha Rathnayake (Calgary) was second in the junior men’s -55kg Kumite event.

Six more Canadians climbed onto the bronze-medal step of the podium over the three-day event. Vancouver’s Ethan Choi was third in the men’s U14 Kata competition. Ontario’s Quinton Damien matched the result in men’s cadet Kata event. Alberta’s Muthuli Ratgnayake snagged a bronze in the women’s U14 – 47kg Kumite competition. Logan Robertson (Kitchener, Ont.) also grabbed bronze in the men’s U14 -45kg event. Marcus Peng (Aurora, Ont.) rounded out the five-pack of Canadian bronze medals in the men’s cadet Kumite +70kg competition. Ontario’s Anushka Jawkar locked up a bronze of her own in the junior women’s -59kg Kumite test.

The 16-medal haul marks Canada’s best finish at the Junior Pan American Championships where they placed fourth overall.

For complete results at the Junior Pan American Championships, please visit https://www.sportdata.org/wkf/set-online/popup_main.php?popup_action=results&vernr=716&active_menu=calendar


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