With the World Judo Tour suspended until next year, the eyes of the judo world turned to Peru this week for the Lima Panamerican Open. Held on 6 and 7 December, the event attracted nearly 50 judoka from across the American continent.

Home athletes dominated the men’s categories, with Peruvian competitors taking home four of the six gold medals on offer. The remaining titles were won by Adonis Diaz (-60 kg) and L.A. Smith III (+100 kg), both from the United States of America.

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There was a more even spread of medals in the women’s tournaments. The United States secured two titles, while there was one gold apiece for Mexico and Ecuador. Home favourite Yuliana Bolivar Gonzalez won Peru’s only women’s title with victory over compatriot Rosita Leyton Pingo.

The overall standings were dominated by Peru and the United States, who shared 24 medals between them. In addition to the aforementioned victories for Mexican and Ecuadorian judoka, there were also medals for Argentina (one silver, one bronze) and Guatemala (one silver). This meant that each of the six nations competing at the event tasted podium success at least once.

It had been hoped that the Lima Panamerican Open would be followed in short order by the European Kata Championships, previously scheduled to take place on the weekend of 12 and 13 December in Warsaw. Unfortunately, the fifteenth edition of the annual competition has fallen victim to the COVID-19 pandemic and will no longer take place.

Judo fans can nonetheless still look forward to the rescheduled African Seniors Championships, which are set to take place from 17 to 20 December in Madagascar. The new year will then see the long-awaited return of the World Judo Tour, in the shape of the Doha Masters 2021 in January.

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