Thursday, December 8, 2017 – Port Vila, Vanuatu
Team Guam Judokas Deja and Taylor Whitt took to the mat at the Korman Stadium on December 6 and 7, 2017. Deja competed in the under 52kg category while Taylor contested bouts in the under 90kg weight class. Although the ultimate goal of medaling in the X Pacific Mini Games were not realized, both athletes, competing internationally for the first time, take away the experience of competing against world ranked opponents.
Deja battled with world ranked Omo Peraut of New Caledonia lasting all three matches, although falling short each match. In the four-minute bouts, Deja took her opponent to the wire as she went down fighting, losing each match by a point. Peraut was awarded the Gold medal in the category. Deja then fought in the Open division where she lost by Ippon to another world ranked opponent. Deja was thrusted into the ring five minutes after her third bout where fatigue played a major factor.
Taylor experienced the same level of competition in the under 90kg division. First, he went head on against New Caledonia’s Gouriou Teva, where he lost by Ippon. Then he battled in the repachage against Tonga’s Faka’osi Feao eventually bowing of the competition. Teva went on to win the gold medal.
Both athletes fought their hearts out and gained valuable experience that they will use for future events. “This competition has taught me a lot and I am willing to work harder to achieve my goals in the sport”, says Taylor Whitt.
With the completion of Weightlifting and Judo, Team Guam’s next competition will be on Monday, December 11, 2017 with Athletics and Beach Volleyball.