DESMONDO Bootle, Dre Hall and Raven Pennerman, three University of the Bahamas Mingoes judo competitors, are expected to represent the Bahamas in the International Judo Federation’s Junior World Championships this week at the Atlantis resort.
Bootle, a junior engineering major (Abaco Central High School), is expected to compete in the 81kg category and he says he’s ready to hit the mat.
“I’m excited but I know I have to be more aggressive because the fighters out there are going to be way more experienced than me,” he said. “I have to be more aggressive than them and really dominate in the fight so that I don’t give them a chance to get their game and work their game plan. I’m going to have to out grip them and I have to be first to grip and attack so that I can be first to win.”
Dre Hall, a freshman biology-chemistry major (Tabernacle Baptist Academy), said he knows he’s one of the shorter competitors but is using it to his advantage in the match.
“I have to attack more because I’m usually a counter fighter but at this level I have to take the match to my opponent so that is something I will be working on,” said Hall, who will compete in the 73kg division. “I’m not changing much but we are just sharpening our skills to bring home the gold.”
The lone female competitor from UB, Raven Pennerman, a freshman psychology major (Jordan Prince William High School), said she’s excited for her first international tournament.
“Going into this meet it’s a new experience and if I put my mind in it and listen to my coach I can do well,” said Pennerman, who is expected to compete in the 70kg division.
Competition starts at 10am today in the Imperial Ballroom of the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island.