Oleksandr Nyzhnyk Finishes in Top 16 at Junior Worlds Debut
by Nicole Jomantas
(Colorado Springs, CO) – For 18-year-old Oleksandr Nyzhnyk (Los Gatos, CA / Nakano Judo Academy), the Junior World Championships in Oviledes, Portugal served as his debut not only on the world stage, but also his first-ever IJF tournament.
Nyzhnyk won bronze at Senior Nationals in May and secured his position on Team USA with gold at the Junior Olympics in June. In Portugal, he earned the best finish of the day for the Americans on Friday with a 2-1 result to place in the top 16.
In the opening round, Nyzhynk was thrown for an early waza-ari (half-point) by Konstantinos Nikiforos Kazantzopoulos (GRE), but came back to throw his opponent twice more, scoring a waza-ari in the second minute and following with a throw for ippon on the next exchange.
Nyzhnyk advanced to the round of 32 where he threw Saud Alharjri (KSA) for ippon in the opening minute.
In the round of 16, Nyzhnyk made it to the third minute before being thrown for a waza-ari and then pinned by four-time Junior European Cup medalist Maksims Duinovs (LAT).
Johan Silot Suse (Salem, MA / New York Athletic Club) entered his first Junior World Championships on the heels of a season that saw him win gold in the 81 kg division at the Senior and Youth Nationals as well as the Junior Olympic Championships.
Suse won his opening round over two-time Paks Junior European Cup silver medalist Marcell Demeter (HUN), throwing the Hungarian for a waza-ari in the third minute.
In the round of 32, Suse was thrown for ippon by Aleksandre Loladze (GEO) – the 2021 European Cadet Champion who went on to win silver in Portugal.
The youngest athlete on Team USA, 16-year-old Brinley Jackson (Midwest City, OK / USA Stars) fought at her first Junior Worlds in the 70 kg division where she and Jovana Cakarevic (SRB) went into Golden Score before Jackson was thrown for a waza-ari.
Top eight and U.S. results are as follows:
Men’s 81 kg
1. Kaito Amano (JPN)
2. Aleksandre Loladze (GEO)
3. Naoto Izawa (JPN)
3. Timur Arbuzov (AIN)
5. Omar Rajabli (AZE)
5. Petr Mlady (CZE)
7. Akhror Ziyodullaev (UZB)
7. Zhalgas Kairolla (KAZ)
Also Competed: Johan Silot Suse (Salem, MA / New York Athletic Club), 1-1
Men’s 90 kg
1. Komei Kawabata (JPN)
2. Vugar Talibov (AZE)
3. Aaron Santamaria Rodriguez (ESP)
3. Maksims Duinovs (LAT)
5. Jaemin Choi (KOR)
5. Alisher Samanov (UZB)
7. Lars Van Oostrum (NED)
7. Miljan Radulj (SRB)
Also Competed: Oleksandr Nyzhnyk (Los Gatos, CA / Nakano Judo Academy), 2-1
Women’s 70 kg
1. Mayu Honda (JPN)
2. Kaillany Cardoso (BRA)
3. Kaja Schuster (SLO)
3. Elena Dengg (AUT)
5. Adelina Novitzki (ISR)
5. April Lynn Fohouo (SUI)
7. Jovana Cakarevic (SRB)
7. Gaya Bar Or (ISR)
Also Competed: Brinley Jackson (Midwest City, OK / USA Stars), 0-1