2023 Zagreb Cadet World Championships

2023 Zagreb Cadet World Championships

Team USA Makes Waves At Cadet World Championships

At the 2023 Cadet World Championships in Zagreb, Croatia Team USA came prepared with a total of 19 competing athletes! Although Team USA did not return home with any medals, the young judokas made waves and put the world on notice. Team USA finished with one 5th place finish and three 7th place finishes as well!

Emily Jaspe of Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center shined as she finished one win away from a spot on the podium as she placed fifth in the -63kg. Emily was seeded as the number 1 seed receiving a bye in the first round. In the round of 32, she came face to face with Kristina Opanasenko (UKR) who she defeated after throwing for a pair of waza-ari scores. In the next round, Emily faced off against a two-time Cadet European Cup medalist in Magda Glubiak (POL). This proved to be a very tough battle for Jaspe as the match headed into Golden Score. Jaspe advanced after a third shido for Glubiak for non-combat activity.

In the quarter finals, Jaspe would drop her match against Yuri Shimizu (JPN), who would become the eventual Cadet World Champion. Jaspe was not yet finished as she battled back in the repechage rounds defeating Nasiba Narymanova (TKM) by waza-ari.

Fighting for bronze, Jaspe would unfortunately not meet the result she was hoping to achieve. She met 2022 Riga Cadet European Cup bronze medalist Varvara Kuchar (LTU) who was very aggressive from the start in her successful match for the bronze medal. Jaspe garnered a 5th place finish.

Also competing from Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center was Nicole Cancela in the -57kg category. In 2022, she finished 7th in the -52kg and was looking to improve upon that result in a higher division. Cancela also received a bye in the opening round. In the round of 32, Cancela threw 2023 Coimbra Cadet European Cup silver medalist Sara Cardella (ITA) for a waza-ari and then transitioned very quickly into an armbar to move on. Nicole then drew Emilia Bielawska (POL) who would shido out of the competition allowing Cancela to move on once again. In her next match, Cancela drew Hili Zakroisky (ISR) who would throw for waza-ari right into a pin of Cancela to finish the match.

In the repechage, Cancela was one win away from the bronze medal match. She fought Maria Silveira (POR) who would pin her and then move on to winning the bronze medal match. Cancela would duplicate her results from the previous year, finishing 7th after moving up a division.

Jonathan Yang -55kg of LA Judo Club proved he is a name to look out for with one year of Cadet eligibility remaining! Once again, another member of Team USA received a bye in the opening round of competition. In his first match, Yang threw Danylo Avramenko (UKR) for a waza-ari (half-point) with 22 seconds remaining in regulation in the round of 32. The following round, Yang would trail his opponent, four-time Cadet Asian Cup medalist Masharipov Muhammadjon (UZB), as this match headed into Golden Score. Yang continued to push the pace and eventually threw Muhammadjon for ippon to advance!

In similar fashion to his Team USA teammates, the quarter-final match would be against the eventual Cadet World Champion Nurlan Isataev (KAZ). In the repechage Yang came up short against two-time Cadet European Cup medalist Adrian Mivovan (FRA) after receiving three shidos during the fight.

Congratulations to all the competitors from Team USA who competed at the Cadet Worlds! Although they did not return home with any medals, they proved that Team USA is on the rise and will always draw a tough competition for their opponents.

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