Montreal, April 27, 2019 – Shady El Nahas had a day he’ll remember at the Pan American Championships in Lima, in Peru, on Saturday. The Canadian won his four bouts by ippon, earning him the gold medal in the -100 kg category.
El Nahas was in control from the start. He first defeated American Nathaniel Keeve, followed by Mexican Alexis Esquivel and Cuban Jose Armenteros.
During the final bout, against Brazilian Leonardo Goncalves, El Nahas kept his momentum going with a fourth and spectacular ippon to be crowned the champion.
“I was more careful than I was the last time we fought, but so was he, so it was a close fight. I knew I’d be able to win and that I could throw him in the end, and that’s what happened,” he said.
Shady El Nahas has been fighting as a senior for less than a year, and is satisfied with his first season of the Olympic selection process. “I started off thinking I could win everything, but I quickly realized I’d need more experience, more strength and more weight,” said the gold medallist. “I work on it every day, and I’m hoping it’ll help me qualify.”
A First Podium for Burt
In -90 kg, Zachary Burt started his day off with two wins, against Jose Luis Ortega Mendoza, from Panama, and Colton Brown, from the United States,
In the semifinal, Burt was defeated by Cuban Ivan Felipe Silva Morales. He was able to bounce back in the bronze-medal bout, defeating Peruvian Yuta Galaterra Villar, a victory earning him his first Pan American Senior Championships medal.
“It was a great day,” said the 25-year-old. “I made a few mistakes in the semifinal, but I was able to come back strong and win an important medal for the Olympic qualification.”
Mohab El Nahas, also fighting in -90 kg, won his first fight, against Peruvian Daryl Yamamoto Servan. The Canadian was then defeated during his second bout by Ivan Felipe Morales, who later defeated his teammate in the semifinal.
El Nahas then defeated American Colton Brown by ippon, allowing him to stay in the run for a medal. During his bronze-medal bout against Dominican Robert Florentino, however, the Canadian was defeated.
On the women’s team, Shianne Gronen lost her first fight in -78 kg, against Chilean Jacqueline Usnayo.
Ten Medals for Canada
The Canadian team concludes the Pan American Championships with a total of 10 medals. Just like Shady El Nahas today, Christa Deguchi (-57 kg), Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (-63 kg) and Antoine Valois-Fortier (-81 kg) all stood on the highest step of the podium in their respective categories.
Arthur Margelidon (-73 kg) and Étienne Briand (-81 kg) won silver medals, and Kelita Zupancic (-70 kg), Antoine Bouchard (-73 kg), and Jacob Valois (-66 kg) won bronze medals, as well as Zachary Burt.
Canada was on the top of the ranking until the last bouts of the tournament, when Brazil finally took the first place. The Canadian team ranked second, despite not having athletes in -48 kg, +78 kg, and +100 kg.