USA Judo News Team USA Wins 10 Med...

Team USA Wins 10 Medals at Guayaquil Pan Am Open

By Nicole Jomantas | July 14, 2022, 7:38 a.m. (ET)

2022 Junior World Team member Alexander Knauf (second from left) won gold at his first Senior Pan Am Open.

 

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Three of Team USA’s up-and-coming athletes won gold in Ecuador over the weekend, leading the U.S. squad to a 10-medal finish at the first Pan American Open event of the Paris Olympic qualifying period.

Alexander Knauf (Yorkville, Ill. / NYAC / Cohen Brothers Judo) won the men’s 90kg title at the Guayquil Pan American Open on Sunday with Nicole Stout (Schenectady, N.Y. / Jason Morris Judo Center) and Mackenzie Williams (El Lago, Texas / Westlake Judo) winning the 78kg and +78kg titles, respectively.

Knauf, a two-time Senior National Champion who is preparing for his Junior Worlds debut in August, earned a bye into the semifinals where he threw teammate Geronimo Saucedo (Wylie, Texas / Becerra Judo) for ippon (instant win). In the finals, Knauf threw 2020 Junior Pan American Champion Mariano Coto Bersier (ARG) for ippon to take gold in his debut on the senior Pan American Open circuit. Saucedo went on to win bronze, taking his second pin of the day to defeat Cesar Naranjo (ECU).

A two-time Senior Pan Am Team member at 70kg and 2021 Senior Pan Am Team member at 78kg, Stout earned her first international title at 78kg with her gold in Ecuador. Stout won her first match against Nayeli Pisco (ECU) with a throw for a waza-ari score and took the title when she threw 2021 Junior World Team member Sairy Colon Rodriguez (PUR) for ippon in the finals.

Williams lost her first round-robin match to teammate Gusmary Garcia Savigne (Hialeah, Fla. / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center) by three penalties. However, Williams would get a fight-off against Savigne, a 2013 Cadet World Champion for Cuba, when both athletes defeated Veronica Saltos (ECU) by ippon. In the final match, Williams pinned Savinge to win gold. The win marks the first Pan Am Open title for Williams, a 2019 Senior World Team member who now holds seven Pan Am Open medals.

Kell Berliner (Cumming, Ga. / Jason Morris Judo Center) also fought in the finals, advancing to gold at 81kg after throwing five-time Senior Pan Am Team member Gustavo Eduardo Lopez Aguilera (ESA) and 2015 Junior World Team member Alexander Borja (COL) in the quarters and semis, respectively. In the finals, Keller was down by a waza-ari when he was forced into three penalties by 2017 Cadet World silver medalist Agustin Gil (ARG) and ended the tournament with a silver. The win marks the fifth Pan Am Open medal for Berliner who also represented Team USA at the 2017 Senior Worlds.

On Saturday, Team USA won two silver and two bronze medals.

The United States claimed both silver and bronze in the women’s 48kg event. Anne Suzuki (San Jose, Calif. / San Jose State University Judo) won her 10th career Continental Open medal with a silver. Suzuki took a Golden Score win over 2021 Senior Pan Am Championships bronze medalist Luz Pena (ECU). In the finals, Suzuki put the first score on the board, throwing Erika Jara (ECU) for a waza-ari. Jara threw Suzuki for a waza-ari to tie the match on the next exchange and then the two did battle for the remainder of the regulation period and five minutes of Golden Score before Suzuki was given a third penalty.

Two-time Junior World Team member Giovanna Prado (Coral Springs, Fla. / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center) split her first two matches, defeating two-time Cadet Pan Am medalist Blanca Chala (ECU), by ippon, but dropping her match against Jara by ippon. Fighting for bronze, Prado took Pena to Golden Score en route to a win by penalties.

Fighting at her second Senior Pan Am Open, Tasha Cancela (Coral Springs, Fla. / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center) was one of five members of the 2022 Junior World Team who came to Ecuador to compete before the Junior Worlds come to Guayaquil in August. A two-time Junior Pan Am silver medalist, Cancela won her second career Senior Pan Am Open medal with a silver in the 57kg division. Cancela came in as the No. 2 seed which gave her a bye into the semifinals where she fought 2020 Olympian Kristine Jimenez (PAN). With both athletes holding two shidos in Golden Score, Cancela threw Jimenez for a waza-ari score to take the win. The finals would come down to penalties as well. Although Cancela defeated Astrid Gavidia (ECU) at both the 2021 Junior Worlds and Junior Pan Ams, this time Gavidia won the match by penalties in overtime.

In the 73kg division, 2021 Junior World Team member Nicholas Rodriguez (Hialeah Acres, Fla. / NYAC / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center) earned bronze to win his second career Senior Pan Am Open medal. Rodriguez rebounded from an opening loss to Matteo Etchechury (ARG), to win his next two matches. In the repechage, Rodriguez threw 2021 Junior Pan Am silver medalist Mathias Coronel (ECU) for ippon. Rodriguez went on to pin Erick Ayabaca (ECU) in the third minute of the bronze medal final for a waza-ari score and throw him for a second waza-ari in the final 13 seconds.

Top eight and U.S. results are as follows:

Men’s 60kg
1. John Futtinico (COL)
2. Johan Rojas (COL)
3. Carlos Maldonado (ARG)
3. Bryan Garboa (ECU)
5. Steven Morocho (ECU)
7. Christopher Velazco (Coral Springs, Fla. / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center)
7. Vicente Paredes (ECU)

Men’s 66kg
1. Juan Hernandez (COL)
2. Lenin Preciado (ECU)
3. Juan Ayala (ECU)
3. Matias Pilo La Cuadra (ARG)
5. Adonis Diaz (Hialeah, Fla. / NYAC / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center)
5. Rodrigo Jara (ARG)
7. Gerard Cadet (HAI)
7. Byron Guillen (ECU)

Men’s 73kg
1. Gilberto Cardoso (MEX)
2. Arkangel Barboza (COL)
3. Matteo Etchechury (ARG)
3. Nicholas Rodriguez (Lehigh Acres, Fla. / NYAC / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center)
5. Erick Ayabaca (ECU)
5. Philippe Abel Metellus (HAI)
7. Julio Lama (ECU)
7. Mathias Coronel (ECU)

Men’s 81kg
1. Agustin Gil (ARG)
2. Kell Berliner (Cumming, Ga. / Jason Morris Judo Center)
3. Maarten De Ridder (NZL)
3. Rodrigo Gamou (URU)
5. Alexander Borja (COL)
5. Alain Aprahamian (URU)
7. Gustavo Eduardo Lopez Aguilera (ESA)
7. Harold Suarez (ECU)

Men’s 90kg
1. Alexander Knauf (Yorkville, Ill. / NYAC / Cohen Brothers Judo)

2. Mariano Coto Bersier (ARG)
3. Daniel Paz Albarracin (COL)
3. Geronimo Saucedo (Wylie, Texas / Becerra Judo)
5. Cesar Naranjo (ECU)
5. Edison Mogollon (ECU)

Men’s 100kg
1. Alexis Esquivel (MEX)
2. Alejandro Escobar (COL)
3. Junior Angulo (ECU)

Men’s +100kg
1. Freddy Figueroa (ECU)
2. Sergio Del Sol (MEX)

Women’s 48kg
1. Erika Jara (ECU)
2. Anne Suzuki (San Jose, Calif. / San Jose State University Judo)
3. Giovanna Prado (Coral Springs, Fla. / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center)

Women’s 52kg
1. Paulina Martinez (MEX)
2. Agustina Lahiton (ARG)
3. Francine Echevarria (PUR)
3. Scheccid Rivera (ECU)
5. Maria Alejandra Mora (COL)
5. Nicole Cancela (Coral Springs, Fla. / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center)

Women’s 57kg
1. Astrid Gavidia (ECU)
2. Tasha Cancela (Coral Springs, Fla. / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center)
3. Brisa Gomez (ARG)
3. Kristine Jimenez (PAN)
5. Veronica Danin (ECU)
5. Paulina Garnica (MEX)

Women’s 63kg
1. Cristina Ortega (ECU)
2. Katia Castillo (MEX)
3. Agustina De Lucia (ARG)
3. Alissia Bombello (BEL)
5. Edith Ortiz (ECU)
5. Emily Jaspe (Hialeah, Fla. / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center)
7. Alina Farias (ECU)

Women’s 70kg
1. Celinda Corozo (ECU)
2. Estefania Garcia (ECU)
3. Ebony Drysdale Daley (JAM)

Women’s 78kg
1. Nicole Stout (Schenectady, N.Y. / Jason Morris Judo Center)

2. Sairy Colon Rodriguez (PUR)
3. Esteysy Diaz (COL)

Women’s +78kg
1. Mackenzie Williams (El Lago, Texas / Westlake Judo)
2. Gusmary Garcia Savigne (Hialeah, Fla. / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center)