THE 20-man ISKF-Guyana team returned with a record total of 30 medals from last weekend’s successfully concluded 13th ISKF Pan American Karate Championship. The event was hosted by ISKF-Panama at the luxurious Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort in Panama City, Panama.
This year, the event was well-attended with a total of 395 athletes who represented 14 Pan American countries. The largest contingent came from host country Panama with 121 athletes, followed by Mexico with 59 athletes, Argentina and Canada with 38 athletes, United States of America with 35, and Guyana, Peru, and Uruguay with 20 respectively. Barbados, Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador and Jamaica made up the remainder.
The 13th ISKF Pan-American Karate Championship was declared officially open on Friday, August 19, by Chief Instructor/Chairman of ISKF Master Hiroyoshi Okazaki (9th Dan).
During the opening ceremony, the Golden Arrowhead was on display by the 20-member ISKF-Guyana team who bore it with pride before all in attendance.
In the lead up to the competition, the Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort was energised and excitement from the spectators filled every square inch of the arena.
Of note, this year’s contest was no walkover as there were excellent showmanship, skills level, respect and camaraderie demonstrated by competitors and nations alike. Notwithstanding this, and as hard work would have it, in the end Guyana were able to earn 14 gold, 11 silver and 5 bronze medals.
In the individual events, for the 6-7 years female kata contest Gia Ramischand won gold for Guyana, and Silvia Perozo secured silver for Guyana. Bronze went to the Panamanian.
In 6-7 years female kumite contest Silvia Perozo won gold for Guyana, and Gia Ramischand secured silver for Guyana, Bronze went to Panamanian.
In the 6-7 years male kata contest Gael McPherson won gold for Guyana, Mexico took the silver and bronze went to Panama and Peru.
In the 6-7 years male kumite contest, Gael McPherson won gold for Guyana, Aiden Persaud secured silver for Guyana and the bronze went to Panama and Argentina.
In 8-9 years male kumite 6th kyu to 4th kyu – Zadok Yehudah won bronze for Guyana from a group of 25 competitors, while in the 8-9 years female kumite 6th Kyu to 4th Kyu, Sylvie Hershberger won bronze for Guyana.
In the 8-9 years old female 3rd kyu to 1st Dan division, Bianca Campbell won gold in both kata and kumite for Guyana while Reia Lee took the silver in both events for Guyana.
In the 11-12 years male black belt kumite category Akeem Morgan competed with excellence. In a sensational and keenly contested battle in the final, the petite (in size) Morgan defeated his towering opponent from Barbados to win the gold for Guyana. In 10-11 years male kumite 6 kyu to 4th kyu, Oliver Hoke won silver for Guyana; Ecuador took the gold and Peru the bronze.
In the 15-16 years female black belt kumite contest Kristalia Chaves held her ground in a strong division to earn bronze for Guyana. The gold was won by Argentina and Canada copped silver.
In the 18-44 years female 7th kyu to 4th kyu Kumite contest, Tamirand De Lisser won gold for Guyana, Colombia took silver and bronze went to Argentina and Panama, while in the kata contest Tamirand De Lisser copped 2nd place, winning silver for Guyana.
In the 18-44 years male 7th kyu to 4th kyu kumite contest, Abdul Hackim won silver for Guyana and in the kata contest bronze. The other places went to Panama.
In the 18-22 years male kumite category, Alex Rodrigues fought fearlessly to earn the respect of his opponents. However, he was unable to medal.
Shaqueel Amin, on the other hand, made light work of his opponents to advance to the semi-finals. He competed against the Mexicans and was unsuccessful. In that keenly contested division, the Mexican emerged the winner of the gold medal while Argentina won silver. Amin came in third for the bronze medal.
In the team events, Team Guyana also did well commencing with the 7-10 years team Kata contest where Bianca Campbell, Aiden Persaud, and Gael McPherson won gold for Guyana, while Zadok Yehudah, Silvia Perozo and Oliver Hoke won silver for Guyana, and the bronze was won by Panamanians.
In the 11-15 years team kata contest Kristian Chaves, Kristalia Chaves and Akeem Morgan won gold for Guyana with 18.9 points. Team USA settled for silver with 18.8 points while Peru took bronze.
After the contests, the 13th ISKF Pan American Championships closed with a Grand Dinner Banquet at the Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort where the team intermingled and celebrated with all in attendance.
ISKF-Guyana committee wholeheartedly thanked all for their support especially the dedicated instructors and head coach Sensei Christopher Chaves, along with Sempai Alex Rodrigues and Sensei Christina Chaves, who accompanied the team to Panama.
Special thanks were extended to the Department of Sport, the Guyana Revenue Authority and the scores of parents and friends for their unwavering support.
“Thanks and recognition are also extended to Ms Danielle Myers-Hoke (of the US Embassy, Georgetown) who went beyond the call to support the team,” a release stated.