2018 Senior Pan American Karate Championships: Para and Team Kumite success for Canada
Karate Canada – Panama City, March 23rd – Canadian National Team members were in Panama City, Panama for the 2019 Senior Pan American Championships held from June 21st-23rd. The Canadian delegation included 26 athletes, accompanied by four coaches, a number of sports organization representatives, and nine officials. This event saw a number of solid performances on the part of Canadian athletes, including one silver and one bronze medal in individual kumite, a gold, a silver and three bronze medals in para-karate, and silver and bronze medals respectively in women’s and men’s team kumite.
In women’s individual kumite, Kate Campbell (NB) won her first three matches in the -55kg division before advancing to the finals, where she lost to the Peruvian Alessandra Vindrola, earning the silver medal. In the -68 kg category, Melissa Bratic (ON) lost her first match against eventual finalist Skylar Lingl (USA); she won three matches in repechage to claim the bronze medal.
In men’s kumite, Mohammedreza Nikhbaksh (ON) won his first two matches in the -75kg division before being defeated by the eventual champion Thomas Scott (USA); he lost in repechage to his opponent Julio Ichiki (ARG), finishing in 5th place.
In men’s kata Kenneth Lee advanced through three rounds to the bronze medal match, losing to Hector Cencion of Panama, placing 5th. In women’s kata, Rita Ngo (BC) and Claudia Laos-Loo (BC) both advanced to the third round; both finished in 7th place.
In the Female Intellectually Impaired category, Patricia Wright (ON) and Natalie Olson (AB) respectively finished in 1st and 3rd place. Wright also earned the bronze medal in the Female Visually Impaired category. In the Male Intellectually Impaired category, Daniel Mustapha (ON) finished with the silver medal, while Simon Langlois-Gauthier (QC) took the bronze.
The women’s kumite team (Jumaa, Pond, Bratic, Campbell) beat Panama to advance to the finals, where they lost to Venezuela, finishing with a silver medal. On the men’s side, the kumite team (Rivest, Rivest, Rivest, St-Arneault, Nikbaksh, O’Neil) lost to Brazil in the semifinals, ultimately winning the bronze medal match against Chile.
These continental championships followed the final qualification tournament for the 2019 Lima Pan Am Games, where Canada qualified three karateka, bringing the Karate Canada’s total number of qualified athletes to four.