Abaco Judo Club stunned the entire Caribbean Region by winning 4 GOLD, 2 SILVER, 1 BRONZE and TOP ATHLETE at the XIII Barbados International Invitational tournament on November 23rd in Bridgetown, Barbados.
This tournament is the premier Caribbean event and attracted over 100 of the very best fighters from 12 countries in the region. Abaco sent four of its top under-18 year olds to represent The Bahamas and these young men were exceptional representatives for The Bahamas and Abaco.
“Winning at this tournament was very important because the International Judo Federation (IJF) now demands that only national champions (all four Abaco fighters are national champs) and then Regional medalists are allowed to compete at the Continental level events” stated Sensei Albert Lill.
“One of our fighters – Dre Hall – was so good in practice that I entered him in his correct weight division AND the next higher weight group. He won silver in his proper division and then wiped out 4 top fighters including two brown belts to get the GOLD in the heavier group,” enthused Sensei.
“Desmondo Bootle faced the toughest field by far and still won BRONZE and BEST TECHNIQUE by placing one of his opponents in a reverse/inverse arm bar forcing his opponent to tap out and defeating another with a tremendous and difficult combination of attack sequences and then a vicious throw” said Head Coach Parotti.
Jonathan Strachan won SILVER in his weight category and was chosen to fight in the TOP TEAM competition where he won GOLD. This was Jonathan’s first international tournament and gained the instant respect of all his peers and their coaches.
Desmond Bootle fought several tough matches and prevailed for GOLD with a great match over Guyana.
Abaco Judo Club easily won the most gold medals and total medal count of all teams, and together with their older team members from Nassau, propelled The Bahamas to Third overall medal count even though other countries had twice to three times as many fighters.
The Club would like to shout out a huge thank you to everyone who supported the team. While all coaches and Sensei pay their own way and volunteer all their time, sending Abaco’s youth to international events would not be possible without the community’s most generous contributions.