Island Top Team athletes competed at the IBJJF World No-Gi Championships in Dallas, Texas, earlier this month and came away with three bronze medals. (Photo submitted)

Island Top Team athletes competed at the IBJJF World No-Gi Championships in Dallas, Texas, earlier this month and came away with three bronze medals. (Photo submitted)

Nanaimo jiu-jitsu athletes earn medals at world championships

Island Top Team had a contingent of competitors in Dallas, Texas, earlier this month

Nanaimo jiu-jitsu athletes, even after a long break from organized competition, showed they were in medal form.

Island Top Team took a contingent of athletes to the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation World No-Gi Championships in Dallas, Texas, earlier this month and came away with three bronze medals.

Ivan Olsen placed third in his masters’ middleweight blue-belt division, earning two convincing submission victories en route to the podium.

“This [was] his first international competition and his technique looked fantastic,” said Robert Biernacki, Island Top Team instructor, in an e-mail.

Biernacki finished with two medals, placing third in both the masters’ black belt division and the masters’ black belt absolute division. In his black belt weight class he ended up in a 0-0 draw after his semifinal, but the referee gave a nod to the defending champion, who ended up repeating as gold medallist.

Biernacki said Island Top Team showed some rust and inexperience on the big stage after being unable to compete for more than a year and a half during the pandemic.

“Normally our team would do several local tournaments throughout the Pacific Northwest during the year to prepare, but that obviously wasn’t an option as nothing was being held,” he said.

Biernacki thanked generous sponsorship for making the team’s trip possible.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

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