Cuba rule CAC judo mat
CUBA had quite the showing last weekend.
The championship might’ve been novel, but there was nothing new about the country that dominated it, as regional powers Cuba won all but one of the 16 divisions at the inaugural Central American And Caribbean (CAC) Judo Games Qualifier.
Competing at the Wildey Gym, the Cubans followed an opening day where they fought unbeaten in seven categories by taking a further eight on Sunday, including the over 100kg division.
The only category they failed to account for was the women’s under-70kg, which was predictably won by Colombian Olympic silver medallist and former World champion Yuri Alvear.
Olga Masferrer – who had lost to Alvear in an earlier round following an initial bye – still managed to pick up a bronze for Cuba after beating Lissa Cabral of the Dominican Republic and Spain’s Veronica Mendoza in the repechage round.
Barbados went without a victory in the main draw for the second day running.
Fighting in the over 100kg category, Bajan Philmar Walcott lost to eventual Cuban champ Alex Garcia in the second round after receiving a first-round bye.
Walcott then went on to lose to Honduras’ Ramon Pileta in the repechage.
Hometown hero Justin Boyce was also the beneficiary of a first-round bye, but ended up on the losing end of his bout against eventual silver medallist Fausto Bivieca of the Dominican Republic.
Bivieca went on to lose the title fight to Jorge Martinez, while Boyce downed his namesake Jelanie Boyce of Trinidad in the repechage.
But Spain’s Juan Turcios ended Boyce’s run to finish with a bronze medal, leaving the local boy to finish in fifth place.
Cuba’s domination continued in the women’s under-57kg class, where Aliska Ojeda downed Andrea Menegazzo of Guatemala for the gold.
True to form, heavy favourite and Olympic gold medallist Idalys Ortiz secured victory in the over-78kg category while Maricet Espinosa took the women’s under-63 kg division.
Yerlandi Echemendia (-90kg) and Jose Armenteros (-100kg) then wrapped up Cuba’s stellar showing with gold medal wins over Puerto Rico’s Alexis Chiclana and Jorge Colmenarez of Venezuela, respectively.