Campbell River's Valerie Doyon

Doyon bound for Pan-Am tourney

Campbell River teen sweeps pair of bouts to earn Karate Canada's No. 1 junior ranking

She’s still waiting for her first national championship, but Campbell River’s Valerie Doyon did take over the top ranking in her class for Karate Canada and will represent the Junior National team in next month’s Pan-American Championships in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

Doyon, the reigning national silver medalist in the 18-20 women’s division, won two bouts in a Junior National training camp last week in Toronto to assume the nation’s top ranking.

“I’m super excited,” said Doyon, 18, who graduated from Carihi last month. “I didn’t expect to do as well as I did because I am battling a few injuries. It’s motivating to be number one in my division.”

Doyon entered last week’s camp ranked second in season points, but defeated Mariah Blunt of Alberta and Hana Surumoto-Deshaies of Quebec to leapfrog into the points lead ahead of Surumoto-Deshaies.

She will compete, along with Surumoto-Deshaies, in the Pam-Am championships in Bolivia Aug. 26-29.

If she finishes the competition still ranked No. 1 in Canada, she will advance as Team Canada’s sole representative in the division to the World Junior and Cadet Championships in Jakarta, Indonesia, Nov. 12-15.

Earlier this year, Doyon won the North American championship in the 17-year-old classification during the International Cup tournament in Las Vegas, Nev.