Cuban judoka Idalys Ortiz (right) won gold in Costa Rica and is a favorite looking toward the Central American Games. Photo: Ricardo López Hevia

Cuban multi-Olympic and World medal winner Idalys Ortiz (78kg+) won her 15th continental title during the Pan American Judo Championships in San Juan, Costa Rica, where the Cuban delegation topped the medal chart with five golds.
Ortiz, London 2012 Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Champion (Río 2013 and Chelyabinsk 2014) defeated Mexico’s Melanie Bolaños and Beatriz Souza of Brazil on her way to becoming the continental title holder, a position she has skillfully maintained for the last 10 years.
Since 2007, the athlete from Artemisa has won the 78kg+ division 12 times and the open event on three occasions, making her one of the most successful judokas of the Americas.
However, Ortiz’s victory wasn’t the only piece of good news for Cuba in Costa Rica, with Maylín del Toro (63 kg) and Kaliema Antomarchi (78) also triumphing in the women’s event; while Osniel Solís (66) and Iván Silva (90) ascended to the highest spot on the podium in the men’s division, the latter after defeating compatriot Asley González.
Cuba’s tally of gold medals could have been higher, but Roberto Almenares (60) and Magdiel Estrada (73) both lost their respective finals, while Onix Cortés (70), Yandry Torres (60), José Armenteros (100) and Andy Granda (+100) took bronze, all of whom will be looking to achieve better results in the upcoming Barranquilla Central American and Caribbean Games, in Colombia.
“We dedicate this victory to the Cuban people who have been following our participation in Costa Rica. We will achieve a similar or better result in the upcoming Central American Games,” stated President of Cuba’s Judo Federation, Rafael Manso, speaking with Prensa Latina. The Cuban official also noted his satisfaction at having defeated Canada, Brazil, Ecuador, and Argentina in the global competition.
The Cuban athletes competed with great discipline and dedication during the competition and this is the result, added Manso.
Pan American Champions (Women’s): Paula Pareto (ARG/48 kg); Jessica Pereira (BRA/52); Christa Deguchi (CAN/57); Maylín del Toro (CUB/63); Yuri Alvear (COL/70); Kaliema Antomarchi (CUB/78); Idalys Ortiz (CUB/78+).
(Men’s): Lenin Preciado (ECU/60); Osniel Solís (CUB/66); Antoine Bouchard (CAN/73); Antoine Valois-Fortier (CAN/81); Iván Silva (CUB/90); Leonardo Goncalvez (BRA/100); Freddy Figueroa (ECU/100+).