Canada’s Ashley Kraayeveld Knocked Off Taekwondo Podium at Pan American Games in Peru
LIMA, Peru—Canada’s Ashley Kraayeveld came up one match short in her quest to get on the Pan American Games podium after dropping the bronze-medal fight on Monday afternoon in Lima, Peru.
Toronto’s Kraayeveld finished just off the podium after losing a defensive 12-4 affair to Columbia’s Katherine Dumar.
“I pretty much did what I came here to do. I executed the game plan and I felt I was mentally prepared for every opponent in every round,” said the 27-year-old Kraayeveld. “Throughout the day it was a constant mental battle with myself, but overall I surpassed my expectations and I’m happy with my performance even though I didn’t get a medal.”
Kraayeveld and Dumar danced around for most of the opening two rounds in the bronze-medal match, looking for marginal openings to get on the board. The Canadian went down two points after receiving warnings from the referee, forcing her to play catch up in the final round.
“In the first two rounds I tried to keep the score as low as possible. I know the fighter and I know she wanted to be aggressive,” added Kraayeveld, who finished a career-best fifth at World Championships last month. “When I was down heading into the final round, I knew I had to make points. I opened up and she was able to score, so it was a bit of a hard loss, but I had to take a risk.”
The Registered Nurse in the Humber River Hospital’s Cardiology Unit was strong throughout the day. She opened her podium pursuit with a 16-4 win over Yosselyn Molina, of Honduras. Kraayeveled punched her ticket into the semis with a 12-7 quarter-final victory over Madelyn Rodriguez, of the Dominican Republic. She was relegated to battling for bronze after losing a hard-fought 9-7 scrap with American, Paige McPherson.
Three other Canadians also answered the call on Monday. Toronto’s Jordan Stewart opened his Pan American Games journey in the men’s over 80kg division with a decisive 24-4 win over Barbados’ Askia Alleyne. Stewart’s podium hopes came to an end when he was on the short end of a 14-4 loss to Brazil’s Maicon De Andrade in the quarter-finals.
Toronto’s Rachel Cuma had to battle the boisterous Peru crowd while making quick work of her opening round opponent, Camila Orihela, from the host country in the women’s over 67kg weight class. Cuma won her first match 14-3. The York University graduate was not able to advance past the quarter-final round, losing 20-9 to Cuba’s Yamitsi Carbonell.
Earlier in the day, Quebec City’s Christopher Iliesco lost to a golden point after being deadlocked at eights with Miguel Ferrera of Honduras in the opening round of the men’s under 80kg division.
Canada’s taekwondo squad will leave Peru with a haul of five medals. Canada’s poomsae athletes won two silver and one bronze medal. Skylar Park won a silver of her own in kyorugi action, while Hervan Nkogho claimed the bronze.
A complete schedule and results can be tracked at https://www.lima2019.pe/en/results
Taekwondo Canada is one of five nations who sent a full team. The Canadian team was made up of four women and four men for a variety of Kyorugi Olympic weight divisions along with five poomsae athletes.
Lima 2019 runs from July 26 to August 11. The Games bring together approximately 6,700 athletes from 41 nations of the Americas and feature 62 disciplines in 39 sports. It is the largest sporting event ever held in Peru. Canadians will be able to experience the excitement of the Lima 2019 Pan American Games through a full-day integrated feed featuring a variety of sports via daily live stream on the free CBC Gem streaming service, cbcsports.ca and via the CBC Sports app. The live stream feed, which is available exclusively within Canada via CBC Sports in partnership with host broadcaster MediaPro. A schedule of the featured events will be posted on the @CBCOlympics social media channels once available, subject to change.