Konoval defends title for fifth time

Christian Konoval (16) of Portland successfully defended his USA Judo Presidents Cup National Championship title for the 5th consecutive year. Pictured with his Sensei Rene Zeelenberg of Alamo Judo Club.

DALLAS – Portland High school junior Christian “The Beast” Konoval, 16, competed in the prestigious doubleheader 2019 Dallas Invitational Judo tournament and the 2019 USA Judo Presidents Cup National Championships in Irving, on Saturday, Nov. 23 and Sunday, Nov. 24.

On Saturday he competed in the heavily stacked Olympic Elite adult athlete division winning his 1st match easily before moving into the second round. In the second round he faced a real challenge with previously ranked #2 in the world competitor Tokuzo Takahashi and lost having to tap on a painful neck crank at the 2:30 second mark of the match.

He fought his way back out of the loser pool to the semi-finals to face his training partner, 2017 African Open continental champion, Adham Ramadan from Egypt. 

The battle was intense however Konoval fell to Ramadan with 10 seconds left in the match. 

He placed 4th in the Dallas Invitational however gained crucial experience as well as priceless knowledge showing his ability belonged at the talent stacked competition.

In day two, Konoval came out with his fangs bared devouring his IJF Junior competitors and Cadet competitors in record time capturing his 5th consecutive age group National Championship titles.

He also fought his way into the Senior Elite finals while literally running from one mat contest to the next with back to back wins in two divisions and taking Silver. 

In addition to his two National Championship titles, and Silver medal runner up for Senior Elite, Konoval will finish his 2019 Judo Season as Texas State champion, #1 IJF Junior and #1 Cadet heavyweight ranked in the U.S. and #5 in the nation for adult Olympic Elite heavyweight division.

Konoval trains under Sensei Rene Zeelenberg of Alamo Judo and was coached by his father Adrian Konoval.