When judo athlete Adonis Diaz, 17, steps on the mats during the prestigious World Cadet Championships in two weeks, he’ll have only one goal in mind: to win gold in his Miami hometown.
“Winning first place at World Cadets means a chance at another title,” says the Hialeah native, Diaz of Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center , 55 kg. “I will prove myself in my turf, in front of my home crowd, and against international athletes.”
World Cadets is a qualifying international tournament for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in China. Participating nations can only send their top ranking youth athletes per division. This year, World Cadets will be held at the Trump Doral Golf Resort & Spa, Aug. 8 – 11, making it the latest in a string of high-profile judo events hosted on home soil by USA Judo, the national governing body for the Olympic sport. This event, which is sanctioned by the International Judo Federation (IJF), is specifically designed for youth athletes, ages 15 – 17, to compete for ranking points and a share of $50,000 for making the podium.
Joining Diaz at World Cadets is Brian Abreu, 15, of Budokan Judo Club. Abreuo of Miami, a sophomore at St. Brendan High School, 50kg, is also eager to climb the podium at this world class event.
In preparation for World Cadets, Abreu says, “I have trained every day for the last three months. I want to get to World Cadets, fight my very best, get first place, and earn a spot at Youth Olympics this year.”
Diaz and Abreu are among 19 teens on the U.S. team, with six coming from Florida. Look for more Cadet profiles to follow.
The roster of Florida athletes, six of the 19 total on the U.S. team, follows along with their club names:
Ashlyn White, 48 kg, Pembroke Pines, FL, Somerset Academy-Panther Judo Club, Pembroke Pines, FL.
Katherine Lieby, 52 kg., Pembroke Pines, FL, Somerset Academy-Panther Judo Club, Pembroke Pines, FL.
Sarah Subko, Valrico, 57 kg. FL, Florida School of Judo Inc, Tampa, FL
Nadine Fiege, 70+ kg, Atlantic Beach, FL, Judo Jax, FL
Brian Abreu, 50 kg, Miami, FL, Budokan Judo, Hialeah, FL
Adonis Diaz, 55 kg, Hialeah, FL, USA Judo Training Site, Ki-Itsu-Sai, Coconut Creek, FL
For interviews and photos, please contact Ernest Pund at firstname.lastname@example.org.