(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Sixteen-year-old Shavon Gonzalez (West Palm Beach, Fla. / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center) secured a seventh place finish at the Cadet World Championships in Sarajevo on Saturday – becoming the fifth member of Team USA to advance to the quarter-finals at the event.
Gonzalez is one of four U.S. athletes to place seventh in Sarajevo in addition to David Leiva (Coral Springs, Fla. / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center) making history with Team USA’s first-ever Cadet World medal with bronze on Wednesday.
The top seed in the 70kg division and a member of the Junior World Championship squad, Gonzalez earned a bye into the second round where she threw Melina Kanellopoulou (GRE) first for a waza-ari (half point) and then for ippon (instant win).
Gonzalez fell short of the podium, however, when she was thrown for a waza-ari score and then pinned in her next two matches against 2022 Cadet Asian Champion Azhar Askhat (KAZ) and two-time Cadet European Cup Champion Teophila Darbes-Takam (FRA) – both of whom entered the tournament ranked among the top 10 in the world.
Sixteen-year-old twins Petros and Nikolas Vithoulkas (Whitestone, N.Y. / International Judo Center) both competed in the 90kg division.
The Cadet Worlds would be the first major international event for Petros who defeated his twin to win gold at the Junior Olympics in June. He would advance to the top 16, however, after throwing Mohammed Almalki (KSA) for ippon in the first round. In the second round, Petros was thrown by 2022 Strasbourg Cadet European Cup Champion Keziah Harvent (FRA) for ippon during the opening exchange.
Nikolas, a two-time Cadet Pan Am medalist, was thrown twice by Hazem Hossam (EGY) for waza-ari scores in the opening round.
For 16-year-old Isaac Zucker (Palo Alto, Calif. / Tamayo Judo Club), the Cadet Worlds would be his first international event. Unranked in the +90kg event, Zucker was thrown during the opening exchange of his match against Gabriel Santos (BRA) who went on to win silver.
Top eight and U.S. results are as follows:
1. Peter Kenderesi (HUN)
2. Abbos Shermakhmatov (UZB)
3. Oleksii Bolyriev (UKR)
3. Milan Bulaja (SRB)
5. Nikita Yudanov (UKR)
5. Jesse Barbosa (BRA)
7. Maksims Bizans (LAT)
7. Keziah Harvent (FRA)
Also Competed: Petros Vithoulkas (Whitestone, N.Y. / International Judo Center), 1-1
Nikolas Vithoulkas (Whitestone, N.Y. / International Judo Center), 0-1
1. Barchinoy Kodriova (UZB)
2. Serena Ondei (ITA)
3. Ingrid Nilsson (SWE)
3. Lila Mazzarino (FRA)
5. Azhar Askhat (KAZ)
5. Teophila Darbes-Takam (FRA)
7. Jael Wernert (AUT)
7. Shavon Gonzalez (West Palm Beach, Fla. / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center)
1. John Messe Bessong Jr. (CAN)
2. Gabriel Santos (BRA)
3. Dota Arai (JPN)
3. Bogdan Petre (ROU)
5. Darius Georgescu (ROU)
5. Recep Ergin (TUR)
7. Emirkhan Zholdoshkaziev (KGZ)
7. Janis Strazdins (LAT)
Also Competed: Isaac Zucker (Palo Alto, Calif. / Tamayo Judo Club), 0-1
1. Grace-Esther Mienandi Lahou (FRA)
2. Celia Cancan (FRA)
3. Mika Nakano (JPN)
3. Nyam-Erdene Batsuuri (MGL)
5. Diana Semchenko (UKR)
5. Jovana Stjepanovic (SRB)
7. Safa Soliman (EGY)
7. Nigar Suleymanova (AZE)