Judoka boost Team USA
Hawai'i judoka helped Team USA finish second in the girls and boys divisions of the Pan American Infantile Championship earlier this month in Venezuela.
The U.S. won 12 medals the first day, when 11- and 12-year-olds competed, and 12 more the second, when 13- and 14-year-olds were featured.
Kane'ohe's Anthony Kwon (Hodokan Judo Club) won the 48-kilogram division on the second day, in his Pan American debut. He beat Ignacio Sancho of Costa Rica by yuko in the final.
On the same day, Honolulu's Chrissy Chow (Hawai'i Tenri Judo) fell in the early rounds of the 53-kg division but fought back to win bronze.
Pearl City's Chaede Grace-Reyes and Honolulu's Melinda Chow, both from Hawai'i Tenri, were undefeated early but fell in close finals on the first day. Grace-Reyes was thrown for ippon by Eliecer Zarate of Venezuela. Chow also lost by ippon, getting thrown with an uchimata (inner thigh throw) by Brazil's Flavia Gomes.
Honolulu's Nahoakuwoo Salera (Shobukan) and Jacob Palimo'o (Shobukan), and Waimanalo's Dane Pestano (Hawai'i Tenri) all won bronze.
LAM RISES IN RANKINGS
Honolulu's Chris Lam finished the year as the 724th-ranked male tennis player in the world. Since he started playing fulltime on the pro tour in April, Lam has risen 799 spots.
He finished his season at the Waikoloa and Honolulu Futures and Wailea Challenger events, winning enough points to earn a new career-high ranking. He also started playing doubles late in the season and has risen more than 800 spots since October, to No. 686.
Lam, a member of UCLA's 2005 NCAA championship team, is 63rd among American men, and 65th in doubles. Punahou graduate Ikaika Jobe is No. 86 among American men, at 990 in the world.
Lam's 2007 tournament schedule is being finalized, but he expects to play some 35 pro events next year — nearly twice as many as this year. He hopes to play in Florida, Australia, New Zealand and Hawai'i the first three months of the year. The Hilton Waikoloa Challenger is Jan. 20 to 28 on the Big Island.
Lam's official Web site (http://chrislamtennis.com) is expected to open next month so fans can follow his progress.