A Plainfield East senior took home the gold medal from her first trip to the World Shotokan Karate Championships.
Eliza Salvado was one of the competitors at the tournament held in Odivelas, Portugal, in September. The world’s best karate athletes from 17 countries were invited to compete, according to a news release.
“Everyone was screaming when the scores finally came in,” Salvado said in the release. “It didn’t really sink in that I won a gold medal until a few days later.”
Salvado, 17, was one of 33 American athletes chosen to represent the U.S. at the world championships. She competed against 42 female athletes in individual kata, which focuses on the forms of karate in a routine-like format, according to the release.
Salvado said it was intimidating to see her competition, but she focused on her own routine, which helped calm her nerves.
“It was a great honor to be selected for the team,” she said in the release. “But to be able to carry the flag at the top of the podium, I’m really proud of that.”