Punahou’s Nakaoka gets a little flip with judo win

Nicolas Nakaoka (Punahou) did a back flip at the end of the match after winning by Ippon over Branden Pagurayan of Kapolei. Dennis Oda / Star-Advertiser

Punahou senior Nicolas Nakaoka got a bit “flippant” Saturday night at the Stan Sheriff Center.

The Buffanblu judoka beat Kapolei’s Branden Pagurayan by ippon in 0:48 of the 161-pound final of the state judo championships.

And then he did a backflip.

That type of celebration is a no-no in judo, and the officials kept their straight faces when it was time to point to the winner.

One official approached Nakaoka and told him something. A few seconds later, they declared him the champion.

“They told me that for the first time, it’s a warning and a deduction of three team points,” said Nakaoka, who will attend Southern California next year and may take part in club judo.

“It was in the moment,” he said. “It’s my third time in the finals and I came up short the last two years. It’s my last year of high school judo and I felt like I wanted to get it all out. I have no regrets. I celebrated and it was a little too extra. It was disrespectful and I immediately regretted it. Honestly, it was pure emotion. It’s incredible. I know what it felt like to place second — so close yet so far. To be able to claim the title is a great climax to the season and my whole judo career.”

Nakaoka now has a first, two seconds and a fifth in his four years.

As a team, the Buffanblu finished in fifth place with 39 points. Add in those three points and they would have landed in third place with 42 points, ahead of Saint Louis (41) and Kapolei (40) but still behind team champion Moanalua (78) and Pearl City (59).

Moanalua’s girls also won the team title, with 92 points. They were followed by Pearl City with 72 and Kalani with 31.

The following boys and girls judoka also padded their state resume quite a bit after victories Saturday. Weight classes for previous years’ accomplishment are not shown.

>> Mililani’s Mitchell Funasaki, 114-pound state title; placed second in 2017)
>> Saint Louis’ Tyler Ibarra (121 state title; fifth in 2017)
>> Moanalua’s Noah Wusstig (145 state title; first in 2017, first in 2016)
>> Moanalua’s Chase Wusstig (178 state title; 1st in 2017, second in 2016)
>> Kalani’s Kailer Okura (198 state title; first in 2017, third in 2016)
>> Pearl City’s Paulsson Solomon (285 state title; fourth in 2017)

>> Waipahu’s Precious Tampos (98 state title; first in 2017)
>> Roosevelt’s Xiaolin Mai (103 state title; fourth in 2016, second in 2015)
>> Waiakea’s Liann Yamamoto (109 state title; third in 2017, third in 2016)
>> Moanalua’s Amanda Higa (115 state title; first in 2016, fifth in 2015)
>> Mililani’s Mayu Wise (122 state title; first in 2017, first in 2016)
>> Kalani’s Zoe Tateyama (139 state title; second in 2017, third in 2016, first in 2015)
>> Pearl City’s Nina Seoane (154 state title; third in 2017)
>> Konawaena’s Kapoina Bailey (172 state title; fourth in 2017)
>> Pearl City’s Jennie Fuamatu (220 state title; 2017 first)

Videos of the wins by Wise and Fuamatu are below.


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