JUDO: Takata and Cutro-Kelly Win Bronze in Cuba

April 24, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
For Immediate Release April 24, 2008 Contact: Nicole Jomantas, 719.271.9937 (cell) Nicole.Jomantas@usajudo.us (Colorado Springs, Colo.)-Taylor Takata (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center) won the second medal for Team USA on Wednesday when he placed third at the Jose Ramon Rodriguez Championships in Havana, Cuba. Takata came back from a first round loss by ippon (instant win) to 2003 Pan Am Games Champion Angelo Gomez (CUB) to win his next two matches and earn the bronze medal in the 66kg division. After his early loss, Takata beat 10-time Pan Am medalist Ludwing Ortiz (VEN) by ippon to advance to the bronze medal match where he beat Ricardo Valderrama (VEN) to place third. Steve Perez (Miami, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami) fought for bronze in the 55kg division, but lost and placed fifth. Scholastic National Champion Andrew Porras (Miami, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami) also fought on Wednesday. Although he did not place in the 73kg division, he did fight well against 2008 Paris Super World Cup silver medalist Ronald Girones (CUB), lasting the full five-minute match before losing by a yuko (quarter-point). On Thursday morning, the women's divisions continued at the Golden Judoguis Championships at the same venue where Nina Cutro-Kelly (San Antonio, Texas / Universal Judo) won bronze in the 78kg division. In what could have be a match at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Judo, June 13-14 in Las Vegas, Nev., #2-ranked Cutro-Kelly and two-time National Champion Nikki Kubes (Fort Worth, Texas / Fort Worth Judo) fought for bronze. Kubes, who won her first match against a Cuban who she threw with an uchimata (inner thigh throw) for ippon before getting thrown by 2007 World Champion Yurisel Laborde (CUB), led throughout the match by three penalties. Cutro-Kelly perservered, though, and took Kubes to the mat where she pinned her for ippon. Five-time National Champion Carrie Chandler (Glenville, N.Y. / NYAC / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center) fought up from 57kg to 63kg, but lost both of her matches. Chandler was down by a waza-ari (half-point) against five-time Pan Am medalist Isis Barreto (VEN) who threw her again for ippon. In the repechage Diana Velasco (COL) threw Chandler for ippon. Competition will conclude Thursday evening with the men's heavyweight divisions. For more information, contact Nicole Jomantas, USA Judo Director of Communications and Media Relations, at 719.271.9937 (cell) or Nicole.Jomantas@usajudo.us. -END-