Martial Arts League 2011 brought together National Prospects
Wednesday, 01 June 2011
SAO PAULO - About 300 athletes from thirteen states participated in judo, karate and taekwondo tournaments of the Brazilian Martial Arts League 2011 in São Paulo from May 25th to 28th. The competition results will be used to select the Brazilian team of judo and taekwondo for the 2011 SU.
Judo - The judo tournament opened the program of the Brazilian University Martial Arts League 2011. In individual disputes, athletes from São Paulo won 12 of the 14 gold medals. Athletes who have written their names in the history of Brazilian judo, as Edinanci Silva, and prospects of the new generation, as Felipe Costa and Jessica Santos, got their gold medals.
Edinanci Silva, student of Unip (SP), was the heavyweight champion in his debut in university competitions. Pan-American Champion (2003 Santo Domingo and Rio 2007), world medalist and Brazilian athlete in four Olympic Games (between 1996 and 2008), Edinanci celebrates a new phase in her career: a university student and athlete.
"The atmosphere of university competition is different. Although the concentration and focus in the fight, we are also concerned about the tests and the teachers. There is a greater interaction and exchange of experience. I'm loving it and I hope this is just the first of many", she said.
Felipe Costa, from UniSant'anna (SP), guaranteed the second title by winning the middleweight category. Athlete of the Brazilian main selection, he faces a marathon of tournaments looking for the 2011 Universíade and London 2012. "The Universiade is a competition of high level where power sport countries put their best and it is a test for the Olympic Games.”
Taekwondo - Prospects of Brazilian taekwondo were also in the 2011 Martial Arts League that will help define the open spots for the 2011 Universiade. The Universiade is one of the tournaments that have more points to taekwondo athletes in the world ranking and Brazil has a tradition of medals in the competition.
Rafaela Araujo, 11th in taekwondo world rank, Andre Bilia, 43rd placed, and Cristiano Valeriano, 91st ranked, participated in the Martial Arts League and secured the gold medal in their categories.
"I have set two targets this year. First, Taekwondo World Cup, which was in Korea last May. Second, the Universiade. I took the first step towards China winning the League. Now I want to get a medal at the Universiade and reach first place in the world ranking", told Rafaela.
Karate – In the karate tournament of the Martial Arts League 2011, athletes from six states celebrated titles, especially athletes of Santa Catarina and Sao Paulo. The karate’s fighter of Santa Catarina totaled eight gold medals in individual and team contests in major category (2nd Kyu and above) and new category (up to 3rd Kyu). Sao Paulo athletes took six titles. Fighters from Bahia, Parana, Rio Grande do Sul and Federal District completed the top of champions in the 2011 Brazilian Martial Arts League.
Ana Paula Shitsuke, 22 years, was the champion of individual kata. The athlete was a member of the karate national team from 2003 to 2009 and collected World Championship (Hungary, 1999) and Pan-American (Caribbean, 2006) titles.
"In 2006 when I entered college, I started to focus more on studies and less on training. Last year I fought the Brazilian University competition and saw an opportunity to continue competing. This year I made my debut in the League which is a strong tournament, with athletes from several states. And now I will focus on trying to enter the World University Karate Championship."
The 2011 University Sports League is sponsored by the Brazilian University Sports Confederation (CBDU) with support from the Ministry of Sports and sponsorship of Itaú, Volkswagen, Koch Tavares, Wilson, ABC Bank, Redecard, Nokia, Contax and Bauducco through Law Encouragement of the Federal Government.
(Source: Pollyanna Padua, CBDU Media Officer - Photos: Cristiano Borges)