March 22, 2023

A Canadian judoka, who also traces his roots to Sagada, Mountain Province, clinched a gold medal for his country in the under-100 kilograms category of the Pan-American Championship in Guadalajara, Mexico on April 16.

Twenty seven-year-old Kyle Surik Reyes, who was born in Ontario, Canada, edged Chilean Thomas Briceño by ippon to win the lone gold medal for his country.

Ranked 30th in the world, Reyes first won against Dominican Lewis Medina then advanced to the next stage where he outdueled American Nathaniel Keeve, also by ippon, in just 24 seconds to reach the finals.

Reyes also defeated Reeve for bronze medal in their encounter during the Pan-American Championship, also held in Guadalajara in 2020.

Born on Oct. 10, 1993, Reyes has been representing Canada in prestigious international tournaments, including the 2016 Olympics.

At age 20, Reyes clinched the gold medal in the 2013 World Junior Championships in Ljubljana, Slovenia, becoming the first Canadian judoka to win a world junior championship gold medal.

He won bronze medal in the under 100-kg. in the 2015 Pan-American Championships in 2015. A year after, he was included in Canada’s Olympic team.

The Canadian with an Igorot blood also won a silver medal in the 2016 Pan-American Championship, making him one of the bemedaled judokas from his country. – Harley F. Palangchao