News day / Leading the charge for TT was 15-year-old Xavier Jones who won the Senior Male up to 81kg category.
He was uncontested in the Junior Male up to 81kg and, as such, was awarded a gold medal.
Although he competed with men more than twice his age in the Senior Male category, Jones had much more experience than his opponents from Guadeloupe and was able to wrap up his matches in less than two minutes with Ippon (outright victory).
Coming off his victorious performances at the National Judo Championship on November 20, Chad Warrick capped off a successful 2016 with total domination in the Senior Male +100kg, also winning both of his matches with Ippon to win gold. This was Warricks first opportunity to represent the red, white and black in judo.
Latesha Gill made sure that she would not be outdone by her male counterparts when she won the Senior Female up to 70kg. Gill returned to competition this year after a long hiatus.
She won both of her matches against Cindy Lognos of Guadeloupe with outright victories.
Gabriella Wood was not as decisive as her teammates but managed to win the Senior Female +78kg by a slim margin over her opponent Hanna Karra of Bahamas, who took silver.
The teams younger competitors werent able to win gold but Giovanni Lopez (silver), Kai Sammy (bronze) and Aidan Greaves (bronze) all got on the podium in their respective categories.
Although TT finished fourth of five countries in the medal count, their gold medal haul made them the top team with the highest number of gold medals to team members. Barbados had 47 athletes and 14 gold medals, Martinique earned 14 gold from their 27 athletes, Guadeloupe won five gold (14 athletes), TT copped five gold (seven athletes) and Bahamas grabbed two gold (five athletes).
The tournament is known as one of the premier events for judoka in the French and English speaking Caribbean and this year attracted 100 participants from the five territories.
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