NewsHannah MartinMaria Laborde

Hannah Martin and Maria Laborde Win Pan Am Bronze

by Nicole Jomantas

Senior Pan Am-Oceania Championships bronze medalists Hannah Martin and Maria Laborde. (Photo by Nicole Jomantas)

(Calgary, CAN) – Two of Team USA’s most experienced competitors returned to the Senior Pan Am-Oceania Championships podium on Friday when 35-year-old Hannah Martin (Burnt Hills, NY / New York Athletic Club) and Maria Laborde (Kenosha, WI / NYAC / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center) each won bronze.

2023 Senior Pan Am-Oceania Championships Results

The wins come at one of the most significant Olympic qualifying tournaments for Team USA with less than a year remaining before the Paris 2024 Games.

For Martin, this was her first Senior Pan Am event since winning her third career Senior Pan Am bronze in 2019 and her second international medal since her return to competition in 2022 after having her daughter, Zoe, in 2021.  

“I actually have no words because I feel like it didn’t sink in yet that I won a medal at the Pan Ams. It feels really good to stand on the podium at a big competition so I’m happy. I’m a little more emotional about it actually,” Martin said after the win. “When I first came back … my goal wasn’t Olympic qualification or the Olympics and now this medal makes Olympic qualification a little more real.”

Martin opened with a nearly eight-minute match in the quarter-finals against two-time Pan Am Champion Maylin Del Toro Carvajal (CUB). While Martin was given the first two penalties of the fight in regulation, the Cuban took one of her own with three seconds on the clock and two more in the next four minutes of Golden Score (sudden death overtime), giving the win to Martin and avenging her loss to the Cuban at the 2015 Pan Ams.  

“It was a very tough, eight-minute fight,” said Martin who lost to the Cuban at the 2015 Pan Ams. “She’s really strong. She’s a really established judoka, highly ranked on the world ranking list. So I’m pretty proud of this win.”

In the semifinals, Martin and eventual gold medalist Katharina Haecker (AUS) went into Golden Score before the World No. 8 threw Martin for a waza-ari (half-point) score.

“I’ve never been in a Pan Am final so that would have been an amazing thing,” Martin said. “But I talked to my husband during the break. I also talked to my daughter and so that kind of gave me more motivation to go out there and give it my all for the bronze.”

Martin ground out another Golden Score match in the bronze medal final against Agustina De Lucia (ARG). With both athletes holding two penalties each, Hannah took the match when the Argentinian was given a third just under one minute into overtime.

Although her daughter wasn’t in Calgary and was sleeping on the East Coast when Martin stepped off the podium, she said she looked forward to showing Zoe her new hardware when she gets home and serving as an inspiration to other women and girls in the sport.

“It’s very hard to do elite level sports and be a mom. I’m not gonna lie. It’s one of the hardest things I ever did, but it’s something I chose to do,” Martin said. I wanted to come back to show other women, to show young girls that, just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean you can’t go for your dreams. So I hope I inspire someone.

For Laborde, her bronze medal win at 48 kg comes just over a month after her last major international medal – silver at the Masters Worlds in August. Ranked No. 4 on the Olympic Rankings List going into the tournament, Laborde is in a good position for Paris qualification, but had the opportunity to bolster her ranking in Calgary.

After a bye into the quarter-finals, Laborde threw Mikaela Rojas (ARG) for a waza-ari early in the match and forced the up-and-comer into three penalties to take the win in just under three minutes.

In the semifinals, Laborde fought nine-time Senior Pan Am Championships medalist Edna Carrillo (MEX). With two penalties each Laborde was given a third in Golden Score and dropped the match.

“We’ve known each other a long time. We’ve fought since forever. I knew that would be a hard fight, but I was expecting to win this fight. So I really had to put myself together again after the loss to fight for bronze,” Laborde said.

In the bronze medal final, Laborde took on another familiar opponent – Erika Lasso (COL). Laborde has defeated Lasso twice in the last two seasons on the circuit and earned a third win when she threw Lasso for ippon (instant win) in the third minute.

“I knew what her strategy would be. She won’t let me get the sleeve. If she won’t let me get the sleeve, I’ll go with like a tai otoshi or I’ll go with morote seoi nage,” Laborde said. “When they know what you do, you have to really do something else and forget the final result and win the fight.

Three other members of Team USA fought for bronze on Friday with each ending the day in fifth place.

Two-time Olympian Angelica Delgado (Miami, FL / NYAC / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center) entered the 52 kg event favored to return to the podium after seven straight Pan Am Championship medal wins.

Delgado controlled her opening round against Judith Gonzalez (CHI) – forcing her into two penalties and then throwing the Chilean for a waza-ari and pinning her to win the match.

In the quarter-finals, however, Delgado was thrown for a waza-ari in the final 15 seconds of the match.

She rebounded in the repechage, throwing two-time Senior Pan Am medalist Kelly Deguchi (CAN) for a pair of waza-ari scores in the final two minutes.

Delgado and two-time Grand Slam medalist Jessica Pereira (BRA) fought in the bronze medal final, giving up a penalty each before the Brazilian threw Delgado for a waza-ari score in the final minute. Delgado attempted to regroup, but was pinned late in the match.

A bronze medalist at this event last year, Mariah Holguin (San Antonio, Texas / Universal Judo) won her quarter-final bout against two-time Oceania Champion Qona Christie (AUS), throwing Christie for a waza-ari score).

In the semifinals, Holguin was thrown for ippon by two-time Senior World Champion Christa Deguchi (CAN).

Fighting Brisa Gomez (ARG) for bronze, both athletes had two penalties when Gomez caught Holguin with a throw for ippon just over a minute into Golden Score.

The only junior competing on this year’s Senior Pan Am-Oceania Team, 2022 Junior World bronze medalist Jack Yonezuka (West Long Branch, NJ / NYAC / Cranford JKC) lost in the quarter-finals to Gilberto Cardoso (MEX) who threw Yonezuka in the final minute of their match.

Yonezuka came back in the repechage, throwing Andres Sandoval (COL) for a waza-ari in the third minute of Golden Score.

In the bronze medal final, however, Yonezuka was thrown twice in the third minute by Magdiel Estrada (CUB) – first for a waza-ari and then for ippon.

Top eight and U.S. results are as follows:

Men’s 60 kg
1. Matheus Takaki (BRA)
2. Joshua Katz (AUS)
3. Jonathan Charon (CUB)
3. Michel Augusto (BRA)
5. Bryan Garboa (ECU)
5. Juan Ayala (ECU)
7. Arath Juarez (MEX)
7. Sebastian Sancho (CRC)

Also Competed: David Terao (Fairfax, VA), 0-1

Women’s 48 kg
1. Mary Dee Vargas Ley (CHI)
2. Edna Carillo (MEX)
3. Natasha Ferreira (BRA)
3. Maria Laborde (Kenosha, WI / NYAC / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center)
5. Erika Lasso (COL)
5. Keisy Perafan (ARG)
7. Zamarit Gregorio (CUB)
7. Mikaela Rojas (ARG)

Men’s 66 kg
1. Juliean Frascadore (CAN)
2. Orlando Polanco (CUB)
3. Juan Hernandez (COL)
3. Willian Lima (BRA)
5. Ulises Mendez (MEX)
5. Lenin Preciado (ECU)
7. Ari Berliner (Schenectady, NY / NYAC / Jason Morris Judo Center)
7. Joaquin Tovagliari (ARG)

Also Competed: Isaiah Ramirez (Barstow, CA / Barstow PAL Judo Club)

Women’s 52 kg
1. Larissa Pimenta (BRA)
2. Paulina Martinez (MEX)
3. Tinka Easton (AUS)
3. Jessica Pereira (BRA)
5. Sofia Fiora (ARG)  
5. Angelica Delgado (Miami, FL / NYAC / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center)
7. Kelly Deguchi (CAN)
7. Yurisleidy Hernandez Iglesias (CUB)

Also Competed: Jenna Schurr (Torrance, CA), 0-1

Men’s 73 kg
1. Daniel Cargnin (BRA)
2. Arthur Margelidon (CAN)
3. Gilberto Cardoso (MEX)
3. Magdiel Estrada (CUB)
5. Jack Yonezuka (West Long Branch, NJ / NYAC / Cranford JKC)
5. Antoine Bouchard (CAN)
7. Matteo Etchechury (ARG)
7. Andres Sandoval (COL)

Women’s 57 kg
1. Christa Deguchi (CAN)
2. Rafaela Silva (BRA)
3. Brisa Gomez (ARG)
3. Jessica Klimkait (CAN)
5. Kristine Jimenez (PAN)
5. Mariah Holguin (San Antonio, TX / Universal Judo)   
7. Renata Ortiz (MEX)
7. Qona Christie (NZL)

Women’s 63 kg
1. Katharina Haecker (AUS)
2. Prisca Awiti Alcaraz (MEX)
3. Hannah Martin (Burnt Hills, NY / New York Athletic Club)
3. Maylin Del Toro Carvajal (CUB)
5. Ketleyn Quadros (BRA)
5. Agustina De Lucia (ARG)
7. Cindy Mera (COL)  
7. Isabelle Harris (CAN)

Also Competed: Sara Golden (Crystal Lake, IL / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center), 0-1