National Champion Cynthia Rahming became the first Bahamian to win a continental medal in judo, settling for bronze at the Pan American Open Championships in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on Friday.
Rahming is coached by former Cuban National Champion and international medalist Oneysi Portorreal Pons, 2004 Olympian and former U.S. National Champion Rhadi Ferguson and two-time World Champion and Olympic medalist Amaralis Savon.
Rahming competed in the 57 kilogram (kg.) class. Cynthia’s father, the president of the Bahamas Judo Federation (BJF) D’Arcy Rahming Sr., said: “This is a significant milestone for Bahamas Judo. I do believe that no one from the English-speaking Caribbean has ever won a Pan American continental medal at this level before.”
The Pan American Open Championships is an Olympic qualifier, and with this win, Rahming will be able to retain her spot on the provisional qualification list for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Rahming was delighted with her accomplishment. On her path to a medal, she defeated two opponents from the Dominican Republic. She eventually lost to the tournament’s gold medalist, Ana Rosa from the Dominican Republic, in the semifinals. Mariah Holguin, of the United States, won the silver medal.
Rahming has the distinction of being the nation’s first Judo Youth Olympian. She accomplished that feat in 2010 and has persevered to be the first Bahamian athlete to qualify and compete in the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games and the Pan American Games in judo. After giving thanks to God and then her coaches and training partners, Rahming said: “I am aiming for steady improvement and to qualify and medal in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.”