A Guyana Judo team participated in the 2014 Suriname Independence Tournament
over last weekend and claimed three medals in the process.
The five-man squad led by its colourful captain, Paulo Melo, managed to grab two silvers and a bronze medal. Team Guyana was seemingly the underdog as both French Guiana and Suriname boasted in excess of fifty athletes respectively with seasoned competitors, who in some cases, were from either mainland France or a Surinamese ‘hot hand’, just off international duty.
This did not deter the Guyanese as they all turned in spirited displays.
Buoyed by the performances of Melo in the 81kg category, and though he did not medal, heavyweights Stephan Barry (-100kg) and Khadidja Ba (+78kg) stepped up big and used that momentum to snatch their silver medals in their respective categories as Norissa Yong dug deep and fought hard for her bronze medal. Kevin Prashad’s (-100kg) fantastic heroics finally came to an end when he lost his bronze medal contest to the big French Guiana competitor.
The Guyana squad consisted of: Bruce Fraser – Coach/Official, Stephan Barry, Paulo Melo, Kevin Prashad, Khadidja Ba and Norissa Yong.
The local organizers expressed gratitude to the following sponsors who made it possible for the team to travel to Suriname: Fitness Express, Carlos Mendonca, Peter Robinson, Conrad Gomes, Nick Boyer, Anthony Girdhari, Sergeant Newton Passport Office Georgetown, International Technical Supplies, GSAT Connections, National Hardware, Guyana Colorcrete and Royal Castle Inc. Additionally, the organizers wish to also thank Justin Pires, and his Guyana/Suriname transportation service for personally helping and supporting Team Guyana on their journey and during the tournament.
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