The Abaco Judo Club took a team of nine fighters to Fort Lauderdale the weekend of July 27 to compete in the 2014 Jr US Judo Open achieving outstanding results as they brought home four Bronze medals and four fourth place awards.
The tournament is the premier under-21 event for judo fighters in the Western Hemisphere and attracts top teams from Canada to Brazil as well as from Europe, Ukraine and Russia.
“Our medalists — Dre Hall, Desmondo Boodle and Sebastian Parr — distinguished themselves by solidly defeating many fighters including national champions from the US, Canada, Brazil and others to stand on the podium” stated Coach Regina Parotti. “This is especially true of Desmondo Boodle and Dre Hall who were both fighting with injuries. Most fighters would have withdrawn but they toughed it out for victories”.
“Perhaps the finest performance came from Jonathan Strachan who defeated four international fighters in a row with brilliant, vicious attack sequences, finally losing to the Brazilian national champ in a tough match for a fourth place finish” said Sensei Albert Lill.
Coach Parotti said that Rebecca Strachan was winning against the German national champion in the semi-finals with two seconds to go when her black belt opponent managed a minor point to win the Bronze.
Desmondo and Desmond Bootle, twin brothers, were in the same division and finally had to fight each other for the Bronze. “From a coach’s perspective that was the Definition of mixed emotions!” said Coach Parotti.
Two new fighters on the Abaco elite team — Colin-Ray Albury and Brad Cooper Jr — scored victories and gained the respect of their peers with excellent matches.
Ozeke Swain became the first Abaco Judo Club fighter to be promoted from brown belt to black belt by defeating two USA black belts in a row with full throws, finally finishing fourth.
“Abaco Judo Club is now at the point where our domination of The Bahamas and the entire Caribbean Region is simply expected by Coach Parotti and me from the elite members of the team” said Sensei Lill. “Winning medals against high level international champion teams outside the Caribbean has become our new norm. While any international team would be happy and proud of these results we won’t stop until we win Gold at this level”.
Coach Parotti said a special thank you to BAF Financial “for their wonderful support of these worthy athletes.”
New classes for students ages 5 – 30 are now forming for the September start. Please contact Coach Parotti at 475-1632 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.