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A RIO Wrap. 2024 Pan-American Oceania Championships Team Report.

The weekend past at the Pan American Championships celebrated a hattrick of titles for Katharina Haecker and a repeat of Silver for Aoife Coughlan in her hattrick of medals over the past 3 years. Results from the weekend are not only confidence building, but also earn vital points for Olympic seeding. 

Currently for these two athletes, it's going to plan. Katharina seeded 3 in her division, and Aoife currently holding 8th position (top 8 seeded). With now only the World Championships prior to Paris for our team, it is essential strong performances are again gained to hold their position come July in France. 

Josh and Tinka, both fighting for a medal and both falling agonisingly close to also taking a hattrick of medals. Our expectations are high, and theirs are higher. 5th Place fell short for both, however when they are old and retired i'm sure will look back and say...not so bad.  A return to the mat for Josh was a huge achievement in itself, and fighting for a medal is to be commended. The epitome of determination, both Tinka and Josh will return for World Championships in Abu Dhabi better again. 

It's important to recognise the efforts of the extended team, with some strong performances on the weekend, but not a medal or result to match. It is why it is called a Pathway. It's a journey to success. On average it takes between 8-10 years to join the elite pathway program, and our future is bright. 

For the younger members of our team, it was a great start to Senior competition by Saya Middelton who lined up for the first time in a Senior Championship event. Winning a senior fight on the international stage is massive, and in her first event as a senior she impressed her coaches with her hard work ethic. Nice work Saya and congratulations on 7th place. 

Another stand out performer, Danny Vojnikovich. Stepping from Juniors to Seniors in his first tournament back from injury, and drawing the eventual gold medalist in round 1 could see an attitude of defeat before he started. Not Danny, he fought a great match, determined, strong, and showed great skill and promise for the future. Whilst the record will show a loss, this was no loss. 

Annie and Maeve continue along their Pathway. International draws are not kind at this stage of their careers, but it will only be a matter of time before they are the seeded players in their respective divisions. With LA on their mind, they will continue to grow, develop and learning both mentally and physically. Watch this space. 

In all, 4 athletes from 8 fighting for a medal. Congratulations to the Coaching team and extended training partners at home. 

We are so proud of this team. Let's go! 


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