Young karatekas make Guyana proud

Stabroek News
June 20, 2001

Grit and determination paid dividends for Guyana's young karatekas at the Pan American championships in the United States last weekend.

A medal haul of 10 was the reward for five confident youngsters who produced one of Guyana's best showing at the competition for countries in the Americas.

Three of the triumphant five returned home yesterday from the championships in Philadelphia, in a team of 11 which battled among 17 nations in senior and junior competition.

Fifteen-year-old Nadia Rohoman her brother Richard Rohoman, Krysten Sewett and Justin Jairam all bagged one gold and one silver medal each while Jeremy Jairam captured one silver and a bronze to complete the list of medals for Guyana, in the junior categories.

Nadia Rohoman said she was inspired by her teammates and instructors to win her second gold medal at the championships, having done so last year in Barbados in 1999. This time around though, the competition was stronger and she had top contend with bigger opponents in size in the 14-15 years group for girls. She defeated an American in the final of the kumite competition for the gold but was edged by Canadian Stacy Leung of Guyanese parentage for the kata title and had to settle for silver.

Her brother pint sized Richard, was one of the smallest in the 12-13 years category but he displayed great courage in beating a Mexican, a Venezuelan and his teammate Justin Jairam to take gold in the kata. He was one fight away from winning the kumite gold, but had to settle for silver.

Bubbly Krysten said she was very nervous but remembered her long months of training and concentrated hard to take gold in the 10-11 years kata and silver in the kumite

The Jairam brothers, who are still in the United States, continued their outstanding performances with Justin taking gold and silver in the boys 12-23 years kumite and kata events respectively.

Jeremy bettered his 1999 performance by bagging silver in kata and bronze in kumite in the boys 14-15 years competition.

There was also a creditable performance from Stephan Jeffrey who lost out on a medal in 7-9 years group kata because of a technicality.

In the senior competition, the five man Guyana men's team comprising David Hardy Rawle Da Sent, James Ogle, Christopher Chavez and Eon Waldron placed fourth in the team kumite competition after defeating Venezuela but lost to the United States in the semi-finals. The were eventually beaten by Jamaica for the bronze medal.

In the kata they lost in the first round while Da Sent and Hardy reached the kumite individuals second round.

The team which was managed by sensie Charles Woon-a-Tai is grateful to its many sponsors including the Guyana Olympic Association, Ministry of Finance and the Director of Sports for making their participation possible.