Local athletes Erica and Christina Paccione, who train at Kodokan Judo of Cape Coral, flew to France for the recent Harnes International Judo Competition.
The sisters and six other Americans competed. Each athlete was No. 1 in their age and weight division in the USA. Tournament divisions were very large, ranging from nine to 50 in one division.
On day one the American Team took home one gold, silver and bronze medal.
Jackson Butler was undefeated in the 50kg division to win the Gold.
Erica Paccione fought in a 17 person, -52kg division and won multiple matches by ippon (full point). One win took less thabn 12 seconds. She proudly wore the Silver medal along with a gift of an Adidas sports bag.
Mariah Holguin brought home the Bronze.
Christina Paccione, 11, fought up in age and weight. Her opponents had a 17-pound advantage and were one to two years older. She still managed to score some great throws, but ultimately did not make it to the finals.
A few members of the USA Team traveled the next weekend to Lanester, France, to compete and rose to the podium to collect medals - Misato Sandoval, Gold; Rachel Butler, Silver; and Jackson Butler, Bronze.