By RENALDO DORSETT
THE profile of judo has risen in recent years and now, with the unprecedented event on the horizon, the Bahamas Judo Federation has named the team that will represent the country.
The federation named a 37-member team for the inaugural edition of the CARIFTA Judo Championships, to be hosted April 5-9 at Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium.
The Bahamas was selected by the Caribbean Judo Confederation to host the event which features approximately 120 participants - athletes ranging from ages 13 to 20.
The ratification process was completed following the final selection tournament last weekend.
The team comprises 10 members in four weight classes of the Under-15 boys’ division including: Under 42kg - Brandon Cox, Xavion Johnson; Under 50Kg - Takeel Murphey, Luca Chiacchaari, Gerald Georges, Tyron Scavella; Under 60kg - Matthew Gittens, Adam Charles, Cameron Forbes; Over 60kg - Trevor Cumberbatch.
The U-15 Girls will field eight athletes: Under 40kg - Sarah Thompson, Arrianna Mitchell; Under 48kg - Naja Rolle, Alexia Smith; Under 57kg - Trenice Cumberbatch, Asia Bullard, Ryanique Josey; Over 57kg - Kaylee Roberts.
The group of nine U-21 men includes: Under 60kg - Davante Sweeting, Desmond Bootle; Under 73kg - Taliano Ferguson, Andrew Munnings; Under 90kg - Keyon Cumberbatch, Desmondo Bootle; Over 90kg - Daleon Sweeting, Larry Marshall, Staveros McIntosh.
The U-21 women also fields a group of 10 including: Under 48kg - Jasmine Russell, Alisha Smith; Under 57kg - Taryn Butler, Mya Beneby, Tara Bain; Under 70kg - Raven Pennerman, Breanna Major, Rachel Rolle; Over 70kg - Faith Rae, Karra Hanna.
“We are proud that the team comes from all levels of our society. The islands of New Providence, Abaco, Acklins and Andros are represented.
As well as students from Lyford Cay, SAC, Doris Johnson, CH Reeves, RM Bailey, St Andrews, QC, St John’s, the Nazareth Centre (an orphanage) and University of the Bahamas,” said BJF executive D’Arcy Rahming Sr in a press release, “The Bahamas Open will feature over 200 athletes. 10 nations have confirmed
attendance, Aruba, Trinidad & Tobago, Curacao, Guyana, Surinam, Barbados, Martinique,
Haiti, The USA and the Bahamas”.
The Bahamas has a strong reputation in the region with many Bahamian junior judo athletes winning gold medals at regional tournaments like the Barbados International Open. Judo is currently practiced on several islands in the Bahamas including the capital, Abaco, Bimini and Grand Bahama.
The official team Bahamas campaign was launched last month.
“We’re very blessed to have such a good working government environment to be able to host CARIFTA Judo,” Bahamas Judo Federation executive D’Arcy Rahming Jr said. “. The athletes, we are getting the organisation done right now. The athletes are lifting weights everyday and training everyday after school.”