Karatekas fail at Pan Am qualifiers
Stabroek News
April 9, 2003

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Local karatekas failed in their bid of qualifying for the Pan American Games slated for Santo Domingo in August, after being eliminated in the preliminary rounds.

According to a release from the Guyana Japan Karate Association (GJKA), Guyana's three-member team - Tracy Gomes, Christopher Chavez and Neville Holder - all failed to secure a place in the Pan Am Games.

Team manager Charles Woon-A-Tai who returned with the team on Monday night, in a release said Gomes and Chavez experienced the `Luck of the Draw', in their cases, the unlucky draw.

Gomes was pitted against Mercedes Magana of Cuba, while Chavez had to fight Yusei Padron, also of Cuba, in their first round matches and they both lost their encounters.

In the 68 kilogram category, Holder confronted Herman Manzanarez of Nicaragua and after a positive start, lost the battle. He had three points taken away from him for making excessive contact twice to the face of Manzanarez.

In the kata division, Gomes lost to Katarina Vadovikova of Canada who went through to win the silver medal.

Chavez on the other received good crowd support for his performance of kata `UNSU', but made a terrible blunder when he landed from his jump (part of the kata).

This according to the release caused him the match against Canada's Toshihide Uchiage who also went on to medal.

Woon-A-Tai said it is interesting to note the names of the two Canadians, but he has to give them credit.

According to Woon-A-Tai, who, while in Santo Dom-ingo, successfully completed his Continental Coaching Diploma, the experience gained by the locals will help them to better understand and appreciate the rapid strides karate has achieved in the Region, with the emphasis on more scientific training, using modern technology.

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