JUDO FULFILLING DREAMS AT LIMA 2019
Brazilian Renán Torres surprised in the competition by beating the Pan American champion Lenin Preciado. Peruvians Brillith Gamarra and Dilmer Calle almost won bronze.
He raised his hands, as if he had reached an incredible dream. At the top of the podium, Brazilian Renán Torres remembered so many moments, like when he had to move with his family to Sao Paulo at the age of 10 to start a career in Judo, one of the most competitive sports in his country. Tonight, he carved his name in the sport history of his country by winning gold in the Pan American Games.
Nobody expected it. Torres defeated the Ecuadorian Lenin Preciado, current champion in the 60 kg category. A goal that not even Felipe Kitadai and Eric Takabatake, top ranked athletes of his team, could achieve. However, this young 20-year-old athlete took the gold after many years of training on the tatami.
“I was confident during the bout. Preciado is a very strong judoka, but I concentrated on taking advantage of his mistakes and defeat him by ippon. Winning well is different and it was a revenge for the Brazilian Judo, because we could not defeat him last time. This victory makes me believe that I can reach higher, now that I have advanced from the junior to the senior category,” said Renán.
The Argentinian Paula Pareto, Rio 2016 Olympic champion, was another surprise since she lost against the Cuban Vanesa Godínez in the -48 kg category. The “Peque” did not show up, after the match for the bronze medal, reporting a back pain because of a hernia. “My very soul aches, but the Tokyo 2019 World Judo Championships is in fifteen days, so I think I made the best decision,” said the Argentinian judoka.
On this first day, Dilmer Calle from Piura lost the match for the bronze medal in the -60kg category against the American Adonis Díaz. Likewise, Brillith Gamarra from Ayacucho lost to Panamanian Kristine Jimenez in the -52 kg category. In both cases, one hold decided the fights.
“Dilmer has very good defense and defeating him was not easy. He is very skilled in defensive techniques. However, I was able to grab him when I realized his arms were getting tired. It was a great fight, surrounded by a very respectful crowd who supported their favorites with a lot of energy,” said Adonis.