Daniel Gaysinsky spars his way to Pan Am karate silver

August 22, 2019   ·   0 Comments


Daniel Gaysinsky may have had to wait until the second to last day of competition at the Pan Am Games to get his chance in the spotlight, but it was all worth it for the kumite champion.

The Games held in Lima, Peru had the Caledon native and three other Team Canada delegates looking to earn a podium finish over the last three days, where Gaysinsky landed himself a silver medal finish in his first Games experience.

It was a chance at redemption for the 24-year old, who was born and raised in Caledon but now lives in Vaughan. He looked to make his Pan Am Games debut on home turf in Toronto in the 2015 iteration, before tearing his meniscus and ACL just one week before the competition.

Three surgeries later, it wasn’t until 2017 when he returned to regular competition in looking to land a spot in the prestigious tournament that loomed just two years away.

“Daniel missed the 2015 Games due to injury, so this is some excellent compensation,” said Karate Canada’s president, Craig Vokey, who was present with Gaysinsky for his podium finish in Lima.

Competition was fast and furious for the Canadian upon returning to tiptop shape, picking up a gold medal at the 2017 Pan American Championships, his most shining moment in the sport he began at the age of six until last week’s finish.

One of two versions of the sport to be featured in this year’s Games, kumite, which is literally translated into English as “grappling hands”, is the sparring form of karate, where various amounts of points are earned through strikes to different parts of the body. The other form, kata, in which technique is demonstrated individually, was included in the Games for the first time since 2003.

Fighting in the +84 kg division, Gaysinsky managed to finish first in his pool with a pair of wins and a draw, which he picked up against American favourite Brian Irr. He breezed through Colombian delegate Diego Lenis by a score of 8 – 0 in the semifinals, before once again meeting with Irr, who this time took the match 5 – 0 to lock up the coveted gold.

Despite finishing one short of his goal, the silver medal locks up Gaysinsky’s spot in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. 

Canada’s only other karate medal came from Fredericton, New Brunswick’s Kathryn Campbell, also on the final day of action, bringing Canada’s total medal count to 152 for a third place finish.



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