Two Canadians medal on first night of Pan Am karate
Two big Canadian bouts were lost to judges decision on Thursday night. Kate Campbell tied with top-seed Valeria Kumizaki of Brazil in the final, but the judges gave Kumizaki the gold, while Jusleen Virk lost her semi the same way.
The women’s 55-kg final between Campbell and Kumizaki had ended tied at one. Both karatekas (fighters) struck each other towards the end of the bout, resulting in a point each. Due to the tie, the judges and referee were forced to choose the winner. Three of the five chose Kumizaki over Campbell.
The 24-year-old received the silver medal for her efforts. Earlier in 2015 Campbell earned silver at the Pan Am Championships, making this year the most successful in her career thus far. “Mostly I just focus on what I want and what I set out to do. If that’s podium, that’s where my head is at for the entire day,” said Campbell.
The Fredericton-native was Canada’s top-finisher after just one day of Pan American competition.
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Earlier, Jusleen Virk earned the first medal for Canada during the women’s 50-kg semifinal bout. After two minutes of fighting the score was 1-1 and the judges’ decision went in favour of Chilean Gabriela Bruna.
“It was fair,” said Verk. “I think if I did it again, I would feel more aggressive. It is what it is.”
Bruna went on to lose the final to the Dominican Republic’s Ana Villanueva, and Virk settled for bronze. It was Virk’s best-ever placing at a major international competition.
Karate competition continues on Friday and Saturday.