Mason celebrates 18th birthday with gold medal
The Bermuda Sanshou Association team claimed 11 medals — eight gold, two silver and one bronze — at the Bridgetown Burning Martial Arts Festival in Barbados on Saturday.
Winning gold for Bermuda in the juniors were Nathaniel Thomas in the 9 and under division, Matai Phipps in the 11-12 age group, and Dominique Brown and Szaine Williams in their respective under-12 categories against older opponents.
In the seniors, Ryley Mason celebrated her 18th birthday by defeating Chevreuil Johana, of Martinique, in a three-round kick-boxing match in the women’s 60kg division.
Krista Dyer, the team captain, faced a late replacement in Sarah Carswell, of the United States, in the 159lb division in an extremely tight contest that was extended to four rounds after the initial three were judged dead even.
Carswell, the naturally bigger fighter, used her reach to land front kicks to the body to take the decisive round forcing Dyer to settle for silver.
Quennel Robinson lost both rounds of his bout against Ronaldo Stuart, of Barbados, in the 80kg category, while Talia Iris added three golds to Bermuda’s tally in open-hand kata, open-hand weapons and tai chi weapons.
Garon Wilkinson, the BSA president, singled out Mason for special praise and said she delivered a “flawless” performance.
“Ryley Mason was probably the MVP of the team,” Wilkinson said. “She was up against a much older opponent, a 30-year-old woman, who was physically stronger than her. Ryley just did really well.
“Krista Dyer was up against a fighter who was a lot heavier than her. Krista typically fights at 143lbs and she managed to hold off a woman who was 159lbs. She managed to take it a fourth and deciding round.
“Among the juniors, the real standouts were Nathaniel Thomas who was up against eight boys in his division, while Matai Phipps, who had a disappointing performance last year, really stepped his game up and took gold after winning both of his matches.
“It was a really good turn out from Bermuda and I’m happy with the performances.”
Bermuda’s team also captured another eight medals — three gold, two silver and three bronze — at the Long Beach wrestling event yesterday.
Brown and Williams doubled their gold-medal tally by winning their respective divisions.
Dyer also won gold in the female division and was crowned the Ultimate Long Beach Champion.
Thomas and Phipps captured silver medals, while Bailey, Mason and Robinson took home bronze medals in their respective divisions.
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