JUDO: U.S. Women Fight at Budapest World Cup This Weekend

Feb. 13, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
For Immediate Release February 13, 2008 Contact: Nicole Jomantas, 719.866.4732 Nicole.Jomantas@usajudo.us (Colorado Springs, Colo.)-Four U.S. women will compete in the OTP Bank Budapest World Cup in Hungary this weekend. For Ronda Rousey (Wakefield, Mass. / USA Judo National Team FORCE), this weekend marks exactly one year since her move up in weight from 63kg to 70kg and this tournament is slated to be the final leg on the tour for the 2007 World silver medalist. Rousey kicked off her European Tour with teammates Valerie Gotay (Harlingen, Texas / USA Judo National Training Site at Harlingen / 57kg) and Marti Malloy (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University) at the Belgian Ladies Open on February 3 where Rousey won a bronze medal. The three have since participated in training camps in both Belgium and France as well as the Paris Super World Cup this past weekend where Rousey placed ninth. One of Rousey's losses in Paris came in the quarter-finals to reigning Olympic Champion Masae Ueno (JPN). This week the Japanese Team is expected to make several personnel changes, including the replacement of Ueno in the division by Mina Watanabe, a former Paris Super World Cup medalist who Rousey armbarred in the semifinals of the Kano Cup World Grand Prix in December. This weekend is expected to be Rousey's final opportunity to win a World Cup medal before the Beijing Olympic Games. As a two-time World Cup Champion, a top three finish for Rousey in Hungary would be the first medal for an American woman at the event since Ellen Wilson placed third in the 57kg division in 1999. Gotay, a medalist in the 57kg division at the 2007 Rotterdam Super World Cup, withdrew from the Belgium event after the first two rounds with an injury, but she returned to competition in Paris last weekend where she went 1-1. Malloy's best past result on the Tour was a fifth-place finish at the 2006 Warsaw World Cup as a 57kg player, but she is still new to the 63kg division having moved up in weight less than a year ago. A ninth-place finisher at the 2007 Worlds, Malloy's loss in Paris came to Anaisis Hernandez (CUB) who will be in Malloy's division again this week. Katie Mocco (Glenville, N.Y. / NYAC / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center) will be competing in her first World Cup event since moving from 70kg to 78kg in 2007. Mocco, a former Pan Am medalist at 70kg, won a bronze medal at the Finnish Open in November-her first European event in the new division. Competition begins on Saturday with the 48kg, 52kg and 57kg divisions and continues on Sunday with the 63kg, 70kg, 78kg and +78kg divisions. For more information, contact Nicole Jomantas, USA Judo Director of Communications and Media Relations, at 719.866.4732 or Nicole.Jomantas@usajudo.us. -END-