SUCCESSFUL PAN AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIPS FOR THE CANADIAN KARATE TEAM
Karate Canada athletes come back with a total of 7 medals
CURACAO, June 1st – The XXXV Pan American Karate Championships 2022 was held from May 26 to 28 in Willemstad, Curaçao. The Canadian delegation came back home with a total of 7 medals: 2 gold, 1 silver, 4 bronze, as well as 3 top 5 placements.
A total of 306 of the best athletes from 27 countries of the Americas competed for the continental titles, each country bringing a maximum of 2 of their best athletes per division. The 26 Canadian athletes were taking part in the competition in 15 divisions, individual and team. The delegation also comprised of Karate Canada’s Sport Technical Leader, 2 Head Coaches, 2 Event Coaches, 2 Dojo Coaches and 1 Athletic Therapist.
Haya Jumaa and Natalie Olson still at the top
After claiming the 2021 continental title for the first time in Uruguay last year, Haya Jumaa repeated the feat in an exciting journey to claim gold again in the female kumite –61 kg division, defeating Colombia (3-2), Brazil (8-1), Ecuador (0-0 decision), and Venezuela (2-1). This event and title are the perfect stepping stones for Jumaa as she sets her focus on the 2022 World Games in Birmingham, USA, in July.
In the para karate, intellectually impaired division, Natalie Olson continued her reign as the Pan American champion. Her rendition of the Chatanyara Kushanku kata earned her a great 38.56 score which allowed her to claim gold.
In the same division, Patricia Wright offered a great challenge to her teammate, placing second with a score of 36.96 for her kata Gojushiho. The two Canadians have been continuously placing on the podium ever since the first para karate event have been added to the Pan American Championships program in 2017.
Melissa Bratic (female kumite –68 kg), Valeria Diaz (female kumite +68 kg), Hana Furumoto-Deshaies (female kumite –55 kg), and Daniel Gaysinski (male kumite +84 kg) also gave podium-worthy performances as they each received a bronze for their great performances. Nicholas Patrick Rivest (male kumite –75 kg), Claudia Laos-Loo (female kata) and the male kumite team – Aguilera, Nikbakhsh, Oneil, Rivest, Small, St-Arneault – also reached the bronze medal match but came short of the podium, each finishing with impressive 5th place ranking.
A busy summer ahead
Athletes have a little time to recover before getting ready for their next events of the summer. Many of them are planning to participate in the K1 Series A in Cairo, Egypt on June 10-13. They will meet again on Canadian turf for the National Championships in Saint-John’s, NL on July 1-3. All eyes will then turn to Birmingham, USA on July 8-9 as Haya Jumaa and Kathryn Campbell are selected to compete at the World Games 2022.
About Karate Canada
Karate Canada is a not-for-profit corporation with the objective of describing and incorporating all activities related to the promotion, organization, regulation and popularization of the sport of karate all over Canada, of protecting the physical and emotional health of athletes, and of promoting the interests of karate throughout Canada.
Karate Canada and its 11 Provincial and Territorial Associations members normally assemble roughly 16,000 participants nationwide. Furthermore, Karate Canada is a proud member of the Canadian Olympic Committee, the World Karate Federation and the Pan American Karate Federation. See more at www.karatecanada.org.