2022 Cadet Worlds Day 2 Results
by Nicole Jomantas
(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Two of Team USA’s five athletes competing on Thursday each advanced to the quarter-finals and placed seventh at the Cadet World Championships in Sarajevo.
Ki-Itsu-Sai Natonal Training Center teammates Christopher Velazco (Coral Springs, Fla.) and Nicole Cancela (Coral Springs, Fla.) advanced to the quarter-finals in the 60kg and 52kg divisions, respectively.
Coached by his father, 2000 Olympian German Velazco (Coral Springs, Fla. / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center), 17-year-old Christopher came into the tournament ranked No. 3 in the world with gold medal finishes at the 2022 Cadet Pan Ams and the Coimbra Cadet European Cup to his credit. After a bye into the second round, Velazco drew 2021 Cadet Pan Am Champion Eduardo Sagastegui (MEX) in a rematch of their semifinals from this year’s Cadet Pan Ams. Velazco claimed this win as well, forcing Sagastegui into three penalties in a battle that lasted more than two and a half minutes into Golden Score (sudden death overtime).
In the round of 16, Velazco took two-time Cadet European Championships bronze medalist Nazar Viskov (UKR) to Golden Score before throwing him for ippon in the second overtime minute.Velazco fought Cadet World No. 6 Sardor Khimmatov (UZB) in the next round where he was thrown for two waza-ari scores. In the repechage, Velazco met Dayyan Boulemtafes (FRA) – a four-time medalist on the Cadet European Cup circuit this year alone. Velazco kept the match close, but was thrown for ippon in the third minute.
Sixteen-year-old Cancela matched the finish of her older sister, Tasha Cancela (Coral Springs, Fla. / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center) who placed seventh in the 57kg division at the Junior World Championships in Guayaquil, Ecuador two weeks ago.
After a bye into the second round, Cancela took Leann Huang (CAN) to the ground, choking the Canadian for the win. In the quarter-finals, Cancela was thrown for a waza-ari (half-point) by four-time Cadet European Cup silver medalist Gaia Massimetti (ITA). Cancela went the full four minutes, but couldn’t get on the board against Massimetti who went on to win gold. In the repechage, Cancela was thrown for a waza-ari score by Michela Terranova (ITA), a three-time Cadet European Cup Champion who was ranked No. 1 in the world at the start of the tournament.
All three of Velazco and Cancela’s U.S. teammates advanced to the round of 16.
A silver medalist at both the Junior and Cadet Pan Ams this year, 15-year-old Harlee Hiller (Evanston, Ill. / Cohen Brothers Judo) pinned Milica Djuric (BIH) for ippon in the opening round of the 48kg division. In her next match, Hiller took on World No. 1 Milica Djuric (SWE) – one of the division’s most dominant athletes who dropped just one match in her last six international events coming into the Cadet Worlds. Djuric threw Hiller and pinned her to take the round en route to winning the silver medal.
Competing in just his second major international event, 14-year-old Anthony Farnot (Lehigh Acres, Fla. / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center) had a bye into the second round of the 66kg event and made quick work of his first opponent, throwing Preslav Petrov (BUL) for ippon in the opening minute. Farnot fought a close third round against Cadet World No. 6 Federico Bosis (ITA) – a three-time Cadet European Cup medalist, holding the Italian scoreless throughout the regulation period. In Golden Score, however, Farnot was given his third penalty and Bosis would go on to win bronze.
Seventeen-year-old Taira Sakamoto (Santa Monica, Calif. / Hollywood Judo) made her international debut in Sarajevo, opening with a first round choke against Evangelia Gavala (GRE) in the 52kg event. In the next round, Sakamoto was thrown for ippon by Sugdiyona Rafkatova (UZB) – the Cadet World No. 2 who went on to win silver.
Top eight and U.S. results are as follows:
1. Davit Kareli (GEO)
2. Kelvin Ray (FRA)
3. Talgat Orynbassar (KAZ)
3. Nizami Imranov (AZE)
5. Dayyan Boulemtafes (FRA)
5. Sardor Khimmatov (UZB)
7. Kristian Genov (BUL)
7. Christopher Velazco (Coral Springs, Fla. / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center)
1. Kano Miyaki (JPN)
2. Tara Babulfath (SWE)
3. Nandin-Erdene Myagmarsuren (MGL)
3. Aydan Valiyeva (AZE)
5. Ilaria FInestrone (ITA)
5. Luca Veg (HUN)
7. Charlize Isabelle Medilo (CAN)
7. Alyssia Poulange (FRA)
Also Competed: Harlee Hiller (Evanston, Ill. / Cohen Brothers Judo), 1-1
1. Saba Samadashvili (GEO)
2. Shohjakhon Otaboev (UZB)
3. Federico Bosis (ITA)
3. Dimitrios Giannopoulos (GRE)
5. Nijat Naghiyev (AZE)
5. Alexis Renard (FRA)
7. Abil Yusubov (AZE)
7. Kohsei Toyoshima (AUS)
Also Competed: Anthony Farnot (Lehigh Acres, Fla. / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center), 1-1
1. Gaia Massimetti (ITA)
2. Sugdiyona Rafkatova (UZB)
3. Anna Tieliegina (UKR)
3. Yi-His Shen (TPE)
5. Michela Terranova (ITA)
5. Kaorlina Siennicka (POL)
7. Hili Zakroisky (ISR)
7. Nicole Cancela (Coral Springs, Fla. / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center)
Also Competed: Taira Sakamoto (Santa Monica, Calif. / Hollywood Judo), 1-1