NewsJohn Jayne

John Jayne Closes in on Olympic Qualification with Silver Medal Upset in Rio

by Nicole Jomantas

John Jayne (far left) won his third straight Pan Am medal with a silver at 90 kg. (Photo by Nicole Jomantas)

(Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – John Jayne (Chicago, IL) came into the Senior Pan Am-Oceania Championships as a two-time bronze medalist at the event who needed another good result to improve his position in the Olympic Rankings with only three major tournaments remaining in the qualification period.

2024 Senior Pan Am-Oceania Championship Results

By the end of the day on Saturday, he would leave the tournament with a silver medal and one of the biggest upsets of the Championships.

Beating the Brazilian today in the semifinal was probably the best win of my career so far.
John Jayne

Jayne earned a bye into the quarter-finals where he threw 2023 Senior Pan Am bronze medalist Mariano Coto Bersier (ARG) for two waza-ari scores (half point each) in just over a minute and a half.

Jayne’s next match would be a rematch of the 2023 semifinals where he lost to 2022 World Masters bronze medalist Rafael Macedo (BRA) who is currently ranked No. 12 in the world.

“I didn’t think I could win and I went out there thinking ‘all right, we’re just going to go do some judo,’” Jayne said. “Last year, I went out there trying to really give it to him – really fight. This year, I was like ‘That didn’t work last time. So this time we’re going to go out, try and do some judo, keep it calm.”

Jayne went for consistent attacking and big throws from the start, throwing Macedo first for a waza-ari and then ippon (instant win).

“Beating the Brazilian today in the semifinal was probably the best win of my career so far,” Jayne said. “I waited, he made mistakes. I capitalized on those mistakes and I beat someone I didn’t think I could ever beat. I’m very happy with that. It gave me a pretty big confidence boost.”

In the finals, Jayne took on 2021 Senior Pan Am Champion Robert Florentino (DOM) who also is pushing to earn a continental quota to the Paris Games.

Florentino threw Jayne twice to take the gold medal.

“Getting the silver, getting the 490 points is pretty big for me going towards the Olympics,” Jayne said. “I also feel a big confidence boost now, beating the Brazilian, having a good match in the final with the Dominican. I feel like, coming into those next competitions, I can really pull out some top eights if I fight like I fought today.”

Two of Jayne’s teammates earned top-seven results on Saturday. Alexander Knauf (Yorkville, IL / NYAC), a 2023 Pan Am Games bronze medalist, and two-time Senior Pan Am bronze medalist Nate Keeve (San Rafael, CA / NYAC) each fell one win short of fighting for bronze in the 90 kg and 100 kg divisions, respectively.

The World Tour continues next weekend with three straight weekends of major qualifiers, culminating in the Senior World Championships:

Dushanbe Grand Slam
May 3-5
Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Qazaqstan Barysy Grand Slam
May 10-12
Astania, Kazakhstan

Senior World Championships
May 19-23
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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

Men’s 81 kg
1. Guilherme Schimidt (BRA)
2. Francois Gauthier Drapeau (CAN)
3. Adrian Gandia (PUR)
3. Max Stewart (JAM)
5. Gabriel Falcao (BRA)
5. Tomas Morales (ARG)
7. Jorge Perez (CHI)
7. Alain Aprahamian (URU)

Also Competed: Kell Berliner (Schenectady, NY / Jason Morris Judo Center), 0-1
Nick Yonezuka (West Long Branch, NJ / NYAC / Cranford JKC), 0-1

Men’s 90 kg
1. Robert Florentino (DOM)
2. John Jayne (Chicago, IL)
3. Rafael Macedo (BRA)
3. Ivan Felipe Silva Morales (CUB)
5. Louis Krieber Gagnon (CAN)
5. Yuta Galarreta (PER)
7. Alexander Knauf (Yorkville, IL / NYAC)
7. Mariano Coto Bersier (ARG)

Women’s 70 kg
1. Maria Perez (PUR)
2. Aoife Coughlan (AUS)
3. Luana Carvalho (BRA)
3. Celinda Corozo (ECU)
5. Elvismar Rodriguez (VEN)
5. Ellen Froner (BRA)
7. Ebony Drysdale Daley (JAM)
7. Saya Middleton (AUS)

Also Competed: Melissa Myers (Burnt Hills, NY / Jason Morris Judo Center), 0-1

Men’s 100 kg
1. Shady Elnahas (CAN)
2. Kyle Reyes (CAN)
3. Leonardo Goncalves (BRA)
3. Rafael Buzacarini (BRA)
5. Liester Cardona (CUB)
5. Thomas Briceno (CHI)
7. Francisco Balanta (COL)
7. Nate Keeve (San Rafael, CA / NYAC)

Women’s 78 kg
1. Eiraima Silvestre (DOM)
2. Brenda Olaya (COL)
3. Lianet Cardona (CUB)
3. Vanessa Chala (ECU)
5. Camila Figueroa (PER)
5. Moira De Villiers (NZL)

Also Competed: Nicole Stout (Schenectady, NY / Jason Morris Judo Center), 0-1

Men's +100 kg
1. Andy Granda (CUB)
2. Rafael Silva (BRA)
3. John Jr Messe A Bessong (CAN)
3. Freddy Figueroa (ECU)
5. Jonathan Loynaz (CUB)
5. Marc Deschenes (CAN)
7. Sergio Del Sol (MEX)
7. Victor Ochoa (MEX)

Also Competed: Phil Horiuchi (West Covina, CA / LA Tenri), 0-1

Women's +78 kg
1. Beatriz Souza (BRA)
2. Ana Laura Portuondo Isasi (CAN)
3. Moira Morillo (DOM)
3. Idalys Ortiz (CUB)
5. Sydnee Andrews (NZL)
5. Amarantha Urdaneta (VEN)
7. Katherine Quevedo (CHI)
7. Brigitte Carabali (COL)