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Judo: Cariboo's Samantha Pignatelli wins gold medal

Serena Pignatelli of Zone 3 won her match vs. Vanessa Kruger of Zone 6 on Friday. - John Morrow
Serena Pignatelli of Zone 3 won her match vs. Vanessa Kruger of Zone 6 on Friday.
— image credit: John Morrow

by Taylor Campbell

Student Journalist, Grade 11 Robert Bateman Secondary School

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In Japanese, judo means "gentle way."

But ironically, judo is a fast-paced and high-calibre sport that consists of hand-to-hand combat. The fights began this morning, Friday, at Albert McMahon Elementary School.

Some standout judokas from the stiff competition in the under-48 weight class include: Samantha Pignatelli and her sister Serena Pignetelli, and Devin White.

The under-48 weight class gold champion for today is Samantha Pignatelli from Cariboo, who has won the medal through her great efforts. Samantha had previously left the sport, but recently returned to judo this year and has consistently defeated every competitor except for her sister.

"Going overhead would have made me lose but I pushed her back and kept tight and held her head down," explained Samantha Pingatelli, describing the winning move of her second match.

For the female under-48, Paige Hall (from 100 Mile House) secured the silver medal and Alex Shanks (from Prince George) won the bronze medal.

Pingatelli and her coach, Kristi Roots, are eager to continue improving and participating in more fights, such as the Canada Winter Games.

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