Gabriella Wood became the youngest black belt judoka in Trinidad and Tobago at age 18. She is a four-time national women’s judo champion in the +78kg category, and is on the road to becoming the first woman to represent Trinidad and Tobago in Judo at the Olympics (Tokyo 2020).
To understand the commitment, and drive of this 21 year old you have to take a deep dive into the support structure that has made this rising star a success. She attributes her first coach Sensei Mark Litteran, Sensei Nigel Lopez and Sensei Chavez of Cuba as honing her talents, encouraging her to pursue more international competitions, and playing significant roles in her decision to go for Olympic glory.
‘Gabby’ is currently ranked #135 in the world (www.ijf.org/wrl), and shared with me how her passion for judo began.