Brazil returns from Canada with 14 medals to close memorable year for judo

The Brazilian Paralympic team takes the podium with everyone who went to the IBSA Pan American Championship

The Brazilian Paralympic Judo team ended the 2022 season, which had already entered the history of the modality with the winning campaign at the Baku World Cup in style. This Sunday (11), the 12 judokas who fought in the IBSA Pan American Championship, in Edmonton, Canada, took the podium and earned nine gold, one silver and two bronze for the country to close the competition at the top of the overall standings. Only the athletes Giulia Pereira (up to 48 kg of the J2 class, for low vision) and Alana Maldonado (J2 up to 70 kg) did not compete on the mat, as they were the only ones registered in their categories respective, but they also received gold medals.

In all, 45 athletes from six countries participated in the Canadian tournament – ​​Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Cuba and the United States. Three countries (Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela) had problems with documentation and did not send representatives. With the reduced number of judokas, six categories were left with only two fighters who competed in a best-of-three combat system. It was the case of the Brazilian Erika Zoaga (more than 70 kg of the J1 class, for total blind), for example, who did not even need the third fight to ship the North American Christella Garcia in two clashes.

The same thing happened with the potiguar Rosi Andrade (J1 up to 48 kg), winner of two fights against Argentinian Rocio Ledesma, with Rio de Janeiro Brenda Freitas (J1 up to 70 kg), who beat Cuban Aragna Hechevaria, and Paraíba William Araujo (J1 in more than 90 kg), sovereign against the Argentinian Cristian Alderete. Wilians, by the way, ends the year on an incredible note: he won gold in the seven championships he participated in and won 23 of 24 fights by ippon. “It has been a magical year in my life, the best of my sporting career. It is the fruit of teamwork, of the whole of the Benjamin Constant Institute and of the CBDV. Now is the time to continue to train hard to continue next year at the same pace,” the heavyweight said.

Wilians poses hugging Argentina’s Alderete on the podium.

Other gold medalists for Brazil fell in brackets with three to five opponents. In this case, the challenge formula is all against all. Whoever wins the most takes first place. the parasense Thiego Brands (J2 up to 60 kg), who had never won a gold medal for the adult team, beat the written passing by the local athlete Justin Karn and the Chileans Johann Bustos and Yabran Alonso: “ It is a great satisfaction to end this year with a golden key. In all competitions, I was on the podium. I finish best in the world and with these points I’m even closer to Paris,” he said.

The Canadian Pan Am was the second event of the BISA (abbreviation for International Blind Sports Federation) who had points in the world rankings. This will be the ranking that will mark out the classifieds for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. Of the 14 summoned by the technical committee of senseis Alexandre Garcia and Jaime Bragança for the event, seven arrived in Edmonton at the top of their categories. Everyone confirmed their favoritism and won – except for the aforementioned Alana Maldonado. Besides Rosi, Brenda, Thiego and Wilians, the other world bests who took the top step of the podium this Sunday were: Rebecca Silva (J2 greater than 70 kg) and Arthur Silva (J1 up to 90 kg). Lucie Araujo (J2 up to 57 kg) and Marcelo Casanova (J2 up to 90 kg), who also hung bream around their necks, should gain positions in their weights.

The other podiums of this Sunday came with the silver of Elielton Oliveira (J1 up to 60 kg) and bronzes from Larissa Silva (J1 up to 57 kg) and Harley Arruda (J1 up to 73 kg).

In addition to being Pan champions in Canada, the Brazilian Paralympic judo team placed fourth at the 2022 Baku World Cup and finished first in three stages of the IBSA Grand Prix: in São Paulo, Nur- Sultan (Kazakhstan) and Antalya. (Turkey). After the holidays, the modality’s first major competition in 2023 will be the Germany open, in Heidelberg, in February. It should be remembered that the next season still reserves the IBSA World Gamesin Birmingham (ING), in August, and the Parapan Am Gamesin Santiago (CHI), in November.

Benjamin Allen

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