Canadians Win Gold, Bronze
—Hana Furumoto-Deshaies wins first career Series A tournament, Selma Raad reaches first WKF podium with bronze—
Vancouver—Two Canadian karate athletes enjoyed breakthrough international performances while
climbing onto the gold and bronze medal steps of the World Karate Federation Series A podium at the
Richmond Olympic Oval on Sunday afternoon.
Hana Furumoto-Deshaies (Gatineau, Que.) celebrated the first Series A victory of her career in the -55kg category, while Montreal’s Selma Raad got her Series A career off to a medal-winning start, scrapping her way to the bronze medal in the women’s -61kg division.
A packed crowd cheered the feisty Furumoto-Deshaies to the top of the podium. The 26-year-old kumite athlete beat Gulmira Ussenova, of Kazakhstan, 3-0 in the gold-medal match.
“This feels amazing. Everyone was cheering for me. The energy was high, and I couldn’t wish for anything more,” said Furumoto-Deshaies after pumping her arms to the boisterous Canadian crowd after the three-minute clock hit zero.
“I just wanted to have fun today, stay grounded and stick to my game plan. I’m so happy it worked out.”
The quick-footed Quebecer was in control all week. After blanking her opening two matches of the weekend – 4-0 over Ruby Cintron (USA) and 8-0 over Georgie Lawrence (AUS) – the determined Canuck squeaked past Japan’s Akira Yatoji 4-3 to punch her ticket into the golden match.
Yatoji grabbed one of the two bronze medals in the weight category. Sweden’s Matilda Rosenlind claimed the other.
Furumoto-Deshaies has been on quite a run since the New Year.
She claimed her first World Karate Federation Series A podium in Greece this January with a third-place finish. She matched that performance 10 days ago with another bronze-medal performance at the Continental Cup in Las Vegas.
“I think I’m on to something right now, and I just need to continue what I’ve been setting up for over the past couple of months because things have been going great,” said Furumoto-Deshaies, who qualified to represent Canada at the 2023 Pan Am Games with her finish in Las Vegas.
“So far, that is my biggest accomplishment, and I just can’t wait to share that experience with many high level and talented athletes in Canada.”
The path to the podium for Team Canada on Sunday was blazed by Montreal’s Selma Raad who leaped
onto the podium in her first ever WKF Series A event.
The 21-year-old from Montreal handily won her bronze-medal match, 7-1, over Julie Canete of the United
“I am overwhelmed right now. It is my first event in Series A so to win a bronze medal match is amazing. I
can’t believe it right now,” beamed Raad. “I worked very hard to get here and I am going to continue
working even harder in preparation for the next event.”
Raad took advantage of her height and reach to dominate the American, controlling the match with every kick and punch in front of the packed Canadian crowd.
Mexico’s Ericka Luque Sanchez won gold in the -61kg category. Belgium’s Maryam Ajaray was second. Austria’s Lejla won the other bronze along with Canada’s Raad.
Earlier in the day, Julia Maclean came out on the short end of a 5-2 decision in her -68kg bronze medal match to Kazakhstan’s Nuriya Tizimbay
Maclean, of Burnaby, B.C., went up by two early in the final match, but Tizimbay bounced back with a three-point kick to the head and never looked back. The taller athlete from Kazakhstan added two more points before the three-minute final came to an end to secure third spot on the women’s podium.
Maclean finished in a tie for fifth place.
Claudia Laos-Loo was the top Canadian in two days of kata competition, which is a detailed choreographed pattern of martial arts movements that is performed individually.
The 25-year-old from Surrey, B.C., who is also focused on qualifying for a spot to represent Canada at the 2023 Pan Am Games in the fall, came up just short of the finals this week near her hometown, posting a solid seventh-place finish.
For complete results on the WKF Series A event at the Richmond Olympic Oval, please visit https://www.sportdata.org/wkf
Karate Canada hosted more than 600 athletes representing 50 countries for three days of kata and kumite competition at the Karate 1-Series A event that included 89 Canadians.
An open format to allow all athletes around the world the opportunity to compete, the Karate 1- Series A was created to bring together the best competitors in a series of Open Championships. In addition, the Karate 1-Series A offered karatekas the chance to increase their international ranking position and showcase the sport at its highest level.
More information on the Karate 1-Series A can be found here. This event was financially supported in part by the Government of Canada, viaSport and the Province of British Columbia and Richmond Sport Hosting.
For more information on Karate Canada, please visit us at www.karatecanada.org.