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Two Pinays off to Ecuador Pan-Am Games

Shalene Lee and first-timer Amelie del Rosario join the  contingent of Team Canada consisting of 88 athletes and 5 national team coaches in the upcoming 2016 Cadet Junior Pan-American Championship  to be held in Guayaquil, Ecuador on August 22-23.

The eighteen-year-old Shalene vowed to perform at par with the world’s best  to fulfill her dream of achieving excellence.

“We had the best training camp last month and to qualify for this competition gives me more motivation to surpass the results I had last year,” said Lee, who has Indonesian descent from his dad.

She seems satisfied with the way the competition turned out in the 2015 edition of the annual event, but wanted to prove to herself that there’s still more to come to achieve her goal.

“I’m more focus right now and studied all the moves of my opponent, so I hope it will lead to something good in this year’s event,” she added.

She didn’t expect to get the bronze last year considering all the tough competitors from different countries, but the experience she had in the provincials helped her a lot.

Lee noted that she needs to beat her own self and get all the grade A chances to subdue the opponent, and more importantly, level up the effort to the next level.

Mom Edna, who currently works at WorldMark by Wyndham is very supportive of her and even joined the trip last year in Bolivia.

On the other hand, it will be somewhat a sort of  baptism of fire for  thirteen-year-old Amelie to showcase her  martial arts skills in Pan-Am Games.

An exciting experience awaits for Amelie since it will mark the first time that Karate Canada will send a representative in the 12-13 years old category in kata event.

The young lass is not actually a  neophyte in this sports discipline, having numerous gold and silver medals tucked under her belt.

According to her father, Rowell, Amelie started to join karate as early as five years old and she actually enjoyed it.

“ It’s funny , my wife Lea and Amelie were supposed to watch  karate competition in Holly Burn Family Recreation Center in West Van, when suddenly one official offered us to enter our daughter in the actual competition, so we accepted the offer,”  declares Rowell, who currently works as chef in Westin Bayshore.

Amelie’s first glory in this event came a year after she joined karate when she won gold in the provincials at age six and followed it up with strings of win in the zone competitions.

Her recent success was a third place finish in the 2016 US Open held in Las Vegas last March.

Big brother Rhemwell was her biggest inspiration in continuing to display her prowess in this event, since the latter was into martial arts as well.

Like Amelie, Rhemwell was a winner in his own level after garnering silver medal in kumite event in nationals last year held in Richmond.

Today (August 18) the whole Del Rosario clan will fly to Ecuador for the most awaited event of Amelie.

The three-day junior national training camp was held last July 17 in Toronto  and immediately after that , Karate Canada officially announced the members of Canadian team, where Shalene was chosen to compete in her category while Amelie will be introduce in the youngest age-group level.

By Alex Mino