Powerful throws, swift sweeps, and loud cheers, these were the things that greeted many of the judokas during the 2015 Hajime Judo Tournament that was held last April 25 at the home Ateneo’s famous sports program, the Blue Eagle Gym.
Welcoming a total of 284 competitors from all over the nation as well as from countries like France, Singapore and the home of the sport itself, Japan, going up against some of the country’s brightest judo stars from the rank of UAAP champions and coaches, the viewers were entertained with the powerful display of mettle from the competitors who gave it their all to go home with the gold.
Coming out on top
Despite welcoming far more judokas, Hajime ended in similar fashion to the UAAP Season 77 Judo Tournament as well as the recently concluded Diliman Slam as the UST Golden Judokas once again came out on top of the Men’s Open Belt after acquiring a total of three gold medals from the hands of Daryl Mercado (-55kg), UAAP 77 Men’s MVPs, Al Llamas (-60kg) and Jerick Senales (-100kg) wherein the latter two defeated fellow UST Golden Judokas Dante Casibang and Jolo Atienza respectively to force them to take home the silver.
The medal haul, however, didn’t stop there as the already impressive finish of the Golden Judokas would further be supported by another silver medal from Kazuki Masaoka (+100kg) and two bronze finishes from David Dela Cruz (-66kg division), and Renzo Cazenas (-90kg).
Echoing the efforts of their male counterparts, the UST Lady Judokas also dominated the Women’s Open Belt after amassing four out of the seven possible gold medal finishes through the hands Alexis Belen (-44kg), Khrizzie Pabulayan (-48kg), Eunice Lucero (-70kg) and Aislyn Yap (+78kg) and an additional of two silvers from Kimberly Pantoja and Renielyn Castillo who were defeated by Pabuylan and Yap in the finals match respectively.
The UST Lady Judokas may have advanced to the top the finals in the other three weight divisions, but they still fell short of achieving an all-kill regarding the gold medals as the efforts of Mae Bayas (-52kg), Lorelei Tolentino (-57kg) and Patricia Raymundo (-70kg) were not enough to secure the gold, thus taking home the silver by their respective opponents. Ending the haul are another three bronze coming from Miam Salvador (-44kg), Almira Ramiz (-57kg) and Jamaika Panciano (+78kg).
In spite of the near absolute domination of the UST Golden and Lady Judokas, remarkable judokas from other teams emerge after delivering performances worthy of admiration. Examples of these judokas in the Men’s Open Belt are the only gold medalists of DLSU Keith Reyes (+100kg) and host school ADMU Alfred Querubin (-81kg) who despite facing tricky opponents still came out on top. Examples in the Women’s Open Belt of notable judokas are UPD’s Happy Panganiban (-52kg) and UE’s Patricia Rosario (-63kg) who proved to be too much for their UST counterparts to handle.
Despite the long list of outstanding Filipino Judokas that were and weren’t mentioned, spectacular performances were not exclusive to them as French judoka Alexis Plantard, competing in the Men’s Open Belt, also delivered the day’s final and fittingly most exciting match against equally noteworthy Japanese judoka Motoky Hayakawa wherein both gave it their all attempting to throw the other to the point that they nearly took out AJA’s and Tiebreaker Times’ equipments and tournament officials multiple times. In the Women’s Open Belt, Singaporean Lily Ana Rahman of Jagsport Singapore also delivers a notable performance as she completes the trio that denied the UST Lady Judokas an all-kill.
Men’s Open Belt Results
Gold: Mercado, Daryl (UST)
Silver: Ligero, Nick (UST)
Bronze: Benavidez, Ryan (GRIPS) and Daniel, Jasper (UE)
Gold: Llamas, Al (UST)
Silver: Casibang, Dante (UE)
Bronze: Pelobello, Miko (UE) and Perillo, Adrian (DLSU)
Gold: Tanawon, Joven (UJFC)
Silver: Lasam, Marco (AJA)
Bronze: Dela Cruz, David (UST) and Cheong, Marcus (Jagsport)
Gold: Rodriguez, Rodimple (UE)
Silver: Cabrera, Aldrin (PCCR)
Bronze: Arayata, Miggy (AJA) and Borja, Michael (DLSU)
Gold: Querubin, Alfred (AJA)
Silver: Aseneta, Carl (Davao Masters)
Bronze: Tuazon, Mon (AJA) and Santiago, Monch (AJA)
Gold: Plantard, Alexis (France)
Silver: Hayakawa, Motoky (UJFC)
Bronze: Cazenas, Renzo (UST) and Martinez, Kris (UDM)
Gold: Senales, Jerick (UST)
Silver: Atienza, Jolo (UST)
Bronze: Gorospe, Francis (UE) and Lee, Yiu (AJA)
Gold: Reyes, Keith (DLSU)
Silver: Masaoka, Kazuki (UST)
Bronze: Reyes, James (AJA) and Querubin, Jaq (AJA)
Women’s Open Belt Results
Gold: Belen, Alexis (UST)
Silver: Antonio, Abegail (UPD)
Bronze: Cadorna, Camille (UJFC) and Salvador, Miam (UST)
Gold: Pabulayan, Khrizzie (UST)
Silver: Pantoja, Kimberly (UST)
Bronze: Nargatan, Claudine (UE) and Veloso, Carissa (AJA)
Gold: Panganiban, Happy (UPD)
Silver: Bayas, Mae (UST)
Bronze: Asilum, Faiza (GRIPS) and Padua, Karlein (UE)
Gold: Rahman, Lily Ana (Jasport)
Silver: Tolentino, Lei (UST)
Bronze: Samson, Sandra (UE) and Ruiz, Almira (UST)
Gold: Rosario, Patricia (UE)
Silver: Raymundo, Patricia (UST)
Bronze: Abellanosa, Christine (AJA) and Bargo, Dianne (UPD)
Gold: Lucero, Eunice (UST)
Silver: Tancontian, Sydney (Holiday)
Bronze: Uy, Mei (AJA) and Guyo, Sherlene (UE)
Gold: Yap, Aislynn (UST)
Silver: Castillo, Renielyn (UST)
Bronze: Cheung, Seanne (AJA) and Ponciano, Jamaika (UST)