The annual Ocean State Invitational International Judo Tournament took place at its’ usual spot in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. For the first time, Jamaica has been invited and attended with 7 judoka. The team competed amongst Pre-Cadet, Cadet, Junior and Senior, bringing back the total of 15 medals (4 gold, 5 silver, 6 bronze).
The youngest member of the team was Zade Harris (13) who won all of her 3 categories back to back in the +64 kg. 15 years old, Tayshaun Bryan, started off with a tough morning amongst the juniors, however, later on showed an excellent effort at both, cadet and senior group, winning a bronze at each in the -73 kg category. Still 15, Kayla Caballero fought amongst the -63 kg category and although she lost twice against one of her USA opponent, she still managed to grasp a silver and a bronze medal. Ricardo Dawkins (16) dominated the -50 kg category with his outstanding ne-waza work and ended with a gold, silver and bronze performances.
Last year cadets and Pan-American 7th this year, Christopher Johnson brought his usual active judo style on the mat. Minor errors led him to miss out on the gold medal in the -55 kg category. Kirk Wisdom faced a tough day in the -66 kg category at his first international appearance and although he was defeated both, in the junior and senior, he managed to claim bronze at the cadet group. Steven Moore also attended at his first international tournament and showed a robust performance throughout the senior +100 kg category. In the final, after a long 6 minutes con
tests, he lost in golden score against his Russian opponent. The team attended at the training camp after the event. Head coach, Szandra Szogedi, concluded her thoughts:
“Apart from Christopher Johnson, this was the first time for the rest of the team to compete abroad. In fact, for some it was the first time to compete at all. This tournament is great for development as all of them had plenty of fights to learn from and progress forward. The result is good considering it was the first time and of course we have a lot of work to do. This age group is very important as we are looking into build a team for Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028. I would like to say a huge thanks to Mayo Quanchi Judo Club and Sensei Serge who have been a great host during our stay. We are certainly looking to return to this event next year.”