Team USA Winless on First Day of Worlds
(Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) - The United States went 0-5 in the men's and women's heavyweight divisions on Thursday at the World Judo Championships.
Although none of the four produced a win, two did go the distance of the full five minutes in their matches before losing on points.
Adler Volmar (Coral Springs, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami) entered the 100kg division in his first World Championships competing for Team USA after fighting for Haiti for much of the 1990s.
Volmar fought European Champion Daniel Hadfi (HUN), but lost by a penalty. The two felt each other out for the first minute with only one significant attack attempt committed when Hadfi tried a sacrifice throw. Volmar was penalized, but neither athlete made much of a move until Hadfi received a penalty of his own, tying the score with just over two minutes remaining. Hadfi made most of the subsequent attacks and Volmar was, in turn, penalized for stalling with 30 seconds remaining to lose by a penalty.
Hadfi, who later won bronze, pulled Volmar through to the repechage where Volmar was leading in his match against Fraz Birkfellner (AUT) by a yuko before being pinned for ippon.
Kirk Hoffmann (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center / +100kg) picked up a shido on Sung Hyuen Hong (KOR) for grabbing the inside of Hoffmann's pant leg. When Hong went down with what appeared to be a shoulder injury shortly thereafter, the match was nearly done when Hong decided to continue fighting ultimately forcing Hoffmann into a penalty and scoring on him again at the end of the match.
Fifteen-year-old Marina Lambert (Chesapeake, Va. / Washington Judo / 78kg) fought Marylise Levesque (CAN) for the third time in just over three months. The two met first at the Pan Am Championships in May when Lambert double-legged Levesque across the mat and into a table, but was later thrown. Levesque won their last match at the Pan Am Games in July, but couldn't score on her this time, making it a defensive match of penalties with Levesque winning with three penalties to Lambert's four which ended the match with 90 seconds remaining.
Asma Sharif (Wakefield, Mass. / USA Judo National Team FORCE) was thrown for a waza-ari in the first minute of her +78kg match against Nihe Chikrouhou (TUN) who then rolled Sharif into a pin for a second waza-ari and the match.
Competition continues on Friday with the men's 81kg and 90kg and the women's 63kg and 70kg.