November issue of the Judo Club Newsletter
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Delpopolo scores GOLD in Liverpool World Cup
October 1, 2011 – USA Judo‟s Nick Delpopolo went five matches, including two overtime rounds, to win gold at the World Cup in Liverpool today, besting top fighters from Spain, Great Britain and Ghana to
take the top spot on the podium.
Delpopolo, 73 kg, is fighting for a return trip to England for the Olympics next year in London. With less than a year to go before the opening ceremonies, athletes are competing and training feverishly to prepare for that celebrated event.
"I recently relocated back to the Jason Morris Judo Center in New York, where the team is outfitted in black and silver sweats and also plays heavy metal music during training," Delpopolo said. "As I was walking out onto the mat in the finals, AC/DC's „Back in Black‟ started playing and I had a conscious thought in my head that it was a sign."
"Winning a gold in the Great Britain World Cup is a BIG step for Nick towards qualifying for a slot in the Olympics and the World Masters in January," commented Jimmy Pedro, two-time Olympic Bronze Medalist and US Olympic Team head coach.
"Climbing higher on the World Ranking List should also help set him up for good results in upcoming events in Azerbaijan and United Arab Emirates as he will be seeded higher at these events," Pedro said. Olympic Silver Medalist Jason Morris had this to say of Delpopolo's victory, "I'm very excited for Nick as this is a terrific win for him, coming off of a disappointing finish at the World (Championships), Nick's confidence was low and this is just the thing to get the ball rolling in the right direction again and a solid mental boost for the rest of the season."
Travis Stevens takes bronze at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
October 18, 2011 – USA Judo‟s Travis Stevens, a fighter likely to represent the United States at the Olympics next year in London, took a bronze medal at the super competitive Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that ended today.
Big ranking points and big dollars lure the best fighters in the world to this tournament. A combined purse of $200,000 went to athletes who won a spot on the podium. The points are critical to athletes hoping to qualify for a spot on an Olympic team.
Stevens, 81 kg, (Team FORCE, Wakefield, Mass.) captured the bronze medal in the 2nd day of the three-day competition, going 3-1 to the podium in a very deep field of competitors.
In the first round, Stevens beat Micha Egger from Switzerland by 2 shidos. In the 2nd round he faced Antoine Valois-Fortier from Canada and got up by 2 shidos and then threw the Canadian with Harai Goshi for waza-ari and the win.
In the quarterfinals, Stevens faced Elkhan Rajabli from Azerbaijan. After one minute, the opponent dropped onto his back sumi gaeshi and Travis pinned him for ippon with his special split-the-legs technique.
In the semi-final, Stevens looked to avenge his loss to Guillaume Elmont of the Nederlands, who beat him at the 1st round of the World Championships in Paris earlier this year. Unfortunately this uneventful match ended the same way as it did at the Worlds with Stevens losing, two shidos to one, despite making most of the attacks in the match. Elmont went on to win the silver medal.
In addition to Stevens‟ bronze, other judoka placing from the U.S. included Marti Malloy, 57 kg (San Jose State University, San Jose, CA), Nick Delpopolo, 73 kg (Jason Morris Judo Center, Glenville, NY) and Kayla Harrison, 78 kg (Team FORCE, Wakefield, Mass.), who took 5th place slots.
Results of the 4th West Point Judo Fall Classic
U161 - 2nd Patrick Obiedizinski
U178 - 1st Anthony Vennitti
U198 - 1st Garry St Leger
Team USA Catches Three Bronze Medals On Last Day of PanAm Games
October 29, 2011 – Team USA added three more bronze medals to their collection on the last day of an extremely successful Pan American Games in Guadalajara.
Angelica Delgado, 52 kg (Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center, Coral Springs, FL), Aaron Kunihiro, 60 kg (Team FORCE, Wakefield, Mass.) and Angela Woosley, 48 kg (Jason Morris Judo Center, Glenville, NY) each took a bronze today.
The US judoka are now headed home with one gold, one silver and six bronze. “I am really pleased with the success of our team,” said Jhonny Prado, head coach of USA Judo‟s team for the Pan American Games.
USA Judo‟s CEO Jose H. Rodriguez described the Games as a huge success. “USA Judo thanks the Mexican people for their energy and hospitality. The crowds were amazing, the venue fantastic.”
Judo competition began on Wednesday. The highlight of the day came when Anthony Turner, 100+ kg (Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center, Coral Springs, FL) took bronze. The pace accelerated on day two when Kayla Harrison, 78 kg (Team FORCE, Wakefield, Mass.) took gold in a field of fighters stacked with a World and Olympic medalist. “Once again, Kayla showed what a true champion does when faced with the challenge,” Prado said.
“Day three was by far our best results,” Prado said. “Kenny Hashimoto, 66 kg (San Jose State University/Northglenn Judo), pulled through nicely, earning a silver medal, and Christal Ransom, 63 kg (Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, CO), fought smart and stayed with our game plan to win in over-time by flags for her bronze. Hana Carmichael, 57 kg (Team FORCE, Wakefield, Mass.) was on her game and toughed thru a rough match.”
Today, Team USA ended the Pan Am Games three-for-three on the medal count.
Aaron Kunihiro “had a tough loss to Brazil,” Prado said, “but came back strong to beat Canada for the bronze. Aaron out-hustled and was able to get off his throws.”
Angelica Delgado, 52 kg (Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center, Coral Springs, FL) lost to the 2008 Olympic silver medalist from Cuba but came back strong to win bronze, Coach Prado said.
“The pleasant surprise of the day was Angela Woosley,” Prado said. Woosley, 48 kg (Jason Morris Judo Center, Glenville, NY) was able to outperform her Mexican opponent in front of the home crowd for the bronze medal.
“Having 85-percent of our athletes in the medal rounds, this might be our most successful Games in recent times,” Prado said.
“It‟s a pleasure to coach this group. USA Judo and our staff has done a great job in developing the „Team‟”, Prado said. “I would like to extend our appreciation to the US Olympic Committee for doing a great job in servicing our team. It was second to none." - Story by Ernest Pund