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Doug Selchan USA Karate Pan American Games Gold Champion

selchan kumite

Profile:  USA Karate Champion Doug Selchan

U.S. Karate Team Captures Gold in Men’s Kumite

Doug Selchan
Doug Selchan USA Karate and Pan American Games Champion

U.S. Olympic Committee Press Release  WINNIPEG, Canada

The U.S. karate team ended its competition at the¬†1999¬†Pan American Games the same way it began the Games — with gold¬†medals.

George Kotaka (Honolulu, Hawaii), John Fonseca (Northbrook, Ill.) and¬†Doug¬†Selchan (North Huntington, Pa.) each won a gold medal in men’s kumite¬†in¬†their respective weight divisions to give the U.S. a total of five¬†individual gold medals. Akiru Fukuda (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and¬†Kellie¬†Kennedy (Seattle, Wash.) won gold medals in men’s and women’s kata on Sunday.

“We started with gold, and we ended with gold,” an elated U.S. head¬†coach¬†Tokey Hill said. “I can’t ask for more out of my boys and girls than¬†that.¬†They delivered.”¬†¬†Kotaka came back to defeat Alberto Espejo (COL) in the finals of the under¬†65kg. After giving up the first point with 2:43 remaining, Kotaka¬†scored¬†five times and held Espejo scoreless for the remainder of the bout.¬† “It was really nerve-wracking, but once we got out there, the jitters¬†were¬†gone and it was time to fight,” Kotaka said. “I initiated the attack¬†and he¬†(Espejo) countered it on the first point. But I knew that sooner or later,¬†because there were three minutes, I could come back and get some¬†points back.”

Fonseca never trailed in his bout against N.L. Sardenberg (BRA) in the¬†men’s under 80kg, needing only two minutes to score the maximum points¬†to¬†earn the gold.¬†“He (Sardenberg) is a very strong fighter, very sharp,” Fonseca said.¬†“But¬†¬†every body has good and bad days, and I felt very on today and maybe he was¬†a little off.”

Selchan completed the karate competition with a hard fought win over Altamiro Cruz (BRA) in the men’s over 80kg. The bout was stopped¬†several¬†¬†times after Selchan suffered a scratch above his right eye early in¬†the¬†match. Selchan recovered to take a 3-2 lead with 27 seconds remaining¬†and¬†then scored an Ippon with 10 seconds remaining to put the match out of¬†reach. Cruz scored with three seconds left, but time expired with¬†Selchan¬†leading 5-3.¬†“I knew I had it all along,” Selchan said,

“Not to sound conceited,¬†but¬†¬†this week I was very confident. I was in pretty good shape, felt¬†strong and felt good. I needed this win. It was a big win for me.”

Men’s Kumite Individual +80kg Gold Medal Match

  • Doug Selchan (USA)
  • Altamiro Cruz (BRA)
  • 3T. Manuel Costa (URU)
  • 3T. Yoel Diaz (CUB)

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