The strong and dedicated Pan American IPPON GEAR team fought with their hearts and gave the audience spectacular judo to watch.
Wander Mateo was the golden boy of the weekend as he became Pan American Champion in the -66 kg category on the first day of competition. The Dominican Republican defeated some strong players on the way to the top and showed that he is in good shape for the upcoming World Championships.
His teammate, Estefania Soriano followed up Mateo’s success by winning the title in the -48 kg category. A tough category in the Pan American region but she fought her way fight by fight and could secure the second gold medal of the day for the Dominican Republic.
As always, Maria Perez impressed as she stood on the podium with a bronze medal. Not the color she would have wanted but after a devastating loss in the semi-final, we are happy to see that she kept focused and claimed bronze. A good warm-up for the World Championships later this month. We know what you are capable of, Maria!
IPPON chaser from the Dominican Republic, Medickson Del Orbe Cortorreal, showed his potential as he reached the final in the -81 kg. After a fifth-place finish in Grand Prix Budapest earlier this summer, he was delighted to get back on the podium with a silver medal. We know you will be on the top spot very soon!
Another Dominican Republican made it to the final. It was Ana Rosa in the -57 kg, who faced the current Olympic Champion in the final, where she was defeated but gained good experience against a player like this. You will get there!
Lewis Medina followed up the Dominican Republic’s success on the last day of competition and won his country’s fifth medal of the weekend and made them the third most winning country at the judo competition. Strong work from the -100 kg fighter and the whole of Dominican Republic. We are proud of you guys!
Kristine Jimenez in -52 kg of Panama captured a bronze medal on day one of competition. After a loss in the quarterfinal, she went through the repechage rounds and secured the medal for her country. Great work!
Hannah Martin of -63 kg followed up her Pan American Championship bronze medal with another bronze medal at this event and was relieved as she did so. Good work!
A disappointing day for the hardworking and wholehearted fighter Robert Florentino of the Dominican Republic. He ended up on a 5th place in -90 kg. A tournament he would have liked to see himself on top of the podium, but the main goal for this month remains the same as Florentino will chase the hardware in Tokyo in 2 weeks.
Also, fifth places went to Elmert Ramirez and Diana De Jesus both from the Dominican Republic.
Some good days for our athletes and some good results for the IPPON GEAR team. In less than 2 weeks, the World Championships will take place in Tokyo, Japan and stay tuned as many of our athletes will participate in the competition and show the crowd what they are made of!