Edition No. 21. Winter, 1999. Today is
Judo In America Needs Some Changes

By: Bob Willingham/Barnaby Chesterman
Jaime Casanova(Montevideo, Uruguay 10th November 1999) -- My name is Jaime Casanova from the Dominican Republic. I was elected to stand as the Interim President of Pan American Judo Union at the meeting of the Pan American directing committee on 9th November, which lasted 12 hours and did not finish until 6am in the morning.
I have been involved in Judo activities since 1969, and on 25th November 1988 I was elected the general secretaryof the PJU, a post which I held until yesterday. This is a special honour for me as it is the first time someone from the Dominican Republic has been chosen as president of the PJU. Some years ago, Mr. Maximo Gomez from the Dominican Republic was the general Treasurer but this position shows real progress for our country and it will be a good influence on Judo in the Dominican Republic.
This is a great responsibility to have this post as President to continue the work of Mr. Sergio Adib Bahi. The post will last until the Pan American congress in November 2000 when a permanent president will be chosen. Meanwhile, Fernando Ibañez of Ecuador, president of the South American Judo Confederation, has replaced me as General Secretary, also until the congress next year.
I have a lot of hard work in front of me but I have not decided whether I wish to run for president at the next congress. I think that Judo in America needs some changes, especially in the competition technical area, leadership area and refereeing area. We will try to copy the job that the IJF is doing as we think the IJF is working very well. At this tournament we are grateful to have the visit of the IJF President, Mr. Park, who has kindly donated 200 blue Judogis. This means once again, as in Mexico in 1997, we can use blue and white suits in this competition which is normally difficult as most countries cannot afford to buy blue judogi.
We are learning all the time from other Continental Unions, always gaining experience, sometimes negative sometimes positive. Our principal goal, however, is to establish rapid and concise communications between the IJF and PJU principally using the Internet as every member of the directing committee is online.
We hope also to increase the interest in Judo in the region. When I returned to Dominican Republic from the World Championships in Birmingham, I saw a lot of media coverage in the newspapers and on television which made me very happy. The coverage concentrated on the success of the athletes from Cuba and Japan but there was also a little bit about the Dominican players. This type of reportage makes the event very big, an important event. I have to try to improve this in the PJU to promote our activities.
It is certainly a challenge to begin my term of office with the Pan-American Championships and I will try to continue the good work of Mr. Bahi. At present I will be checking all the jobs of the organising committee and in the next few days we will be trying to help them to ensure that this championships, with 180 athletes from 20 countries, will be the best yet.
Bob Willingham/Barnaby Chesterman


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PanAm Judo
Championships 1999



Leida Anzola (VEN)

Daniela Polzin (BRA)

Hilary Wolf (USA)

Ellen Wilson (USA)

Sophie Roberge (CAN)

Xiomara Griffith (VEN)

Marianela Astudillo (VEN)

Jacynthe Maloney (CAN)

Priscilla Marques (BRA)



Juan Bautista (DOM)

Emiliano Sosa (ARG)

Henrique Guimaraes (BRA)

Eduardo Mangles (VEN)

Flavio Canto (BRA)

Vicbart Geraldino (DOM)

Frank Vidal (CUB)

Douglas Cardozo (VEN)

Luis Rene Lopez (VEN)

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