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Karate Canada – Over the weekend, Canadian National Team Roster members were in Willemstad, Curaçao, for the 2017 Senior Pan American Championships held from May 25th-27th. The Canadian delegation included 27 athletes, accompanied by five coaches, a number of sports organization representatives, and a record seventeen officials. This weekend event saw a number of spirited performances on the part of Canadian athletes, with seven top-10 finishes, including a gold and bronze medal in individual kumite, a gold and a silver medal in Para-karate kata divisions, one individual bronze medal in kata and another bronze medal in team kumite.

In men’s heavyweight kumite (+84kg), Daniel Gaysinsky (ON) fought in his second finals of the year after getting silver at the Karate 1 Premier League Rotterdam Open last March. On Thursday, Gaysinsky won all of his matches without getting scored on once by his opponents (7-0, 5-0, 6-0 and 2-0) and secured his place in the Saturday finals.  This time, Gaysinsky won gold over Lazaro Chapman, of Cuba, with a final score of 4-3.

In the -60kg division. Nicolas Bisson (QC) confidently won his first three matches on Friday before being defeated by last year’s silver medalist, Andres Rendon (COL), in a close 1-2 match. With his performance, he earned a spot in the bronze medal finals on Saturday. Bisson, fighting Miguel Soffia (CHI), won a close match to take away the bronze.

Other notable performances in male kumite include Sarmen Sinani (ON), in the -84kg division, and Camil Eid (QC), in the +84kg division:  after impressive wins of 9-0, 6-0 and 4-0 in his first three matches, Sinani was unfortunately disqualified with a lead of 4-0 in his last match, while Eid defeated his first opponent and also won his first match in repechage, which placed him in the top seven.

The Canadian male kumite team (Jean-Sébastien Bisson (QC), Patrice Boily-Martineau (QC), Ryan O’Neil (NS), Nicholas Patrick Rivest (QC), Sarmen Sinani (ON) and Christopher Coady (NL)) earned a bronze medal on Saturday after defeating Argentina in Friday’s elimination rounds. Boily-Martineau, Sinani and O’Neil each won their match, respectively 3-0, 4-2, and 13-9 against the Venezuelan team.

In women’s kumite, Kate Campbell (NB) won her first two matches in the -55kg division on Friday, but was then defeated by silver world medalist Valeria Kumizaki (BRA). Campbell placed 7th in the end, as she lost a very close match in repechage.

In individual kata, Rita Ngo (BC) and Kenneth Lee (BC) both won their first three matches to ultimately lose against world ranked opponents (respectively Maria Dimitrova (DOM); ranked 7th and Antonio Diaz (VEN); ranked 4th). They both advanced to Saturday’s bronze medal rounds, where the Peruvian Ingrid Aranda defeated Ngo by a close score of 2-3, which placed her 5th, as Lee convincingly took the bronze with a 4-1 win over Waldo Ramirez from Mexico.


Canada was also very well represented in the Para-karate finals. It was the first time the PKF held Para events and the Canadian team included three Para athletes: Simon Langlois-Gauthier (QC), Natalie Olson (AB) and World Champion Patricia Wright (ON). The women’s Intellectually Impaired division final was a battle between the two Canadians. In the end, Wright won the gold with a score of 43.3 as Olson took silver with a final score of 42.3. In the men’s Intellectually Impaired division, Langlois-Gauthier beat his two opponents with a score of 42.4 to win the gold medal.


Karate Canada Executive Director, Mr. Olivier Pineau, notes that “Team Canada has showed a tangible improvement in performance since the last edition of this tournament, in both kata and kumite events, thereby confirming that it is steadily trending towards success at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Additionally, our para-karate athletes, who were competing in para-karate divisions for the very first time at Pan American Championships, have once again excelled and inspired athletes, coaches and officials from across the continent. We are very proud of our team’s performances, and look forward to its continued international success through the remainder of the season.” Karate Canada President, Mr. Craig Vokey, adds that “Karate Canada athletes showed true determination in winning several medals including an amazing team kumite bronze against Venezuela, winning 3 matches to 2”. Mr. Vokey was also elected to the Pan American Karate Federation Executive Committee for a four year term. 

Gillian Benson
Karate Canada