JUDO: U.S. Men to Compete at Vienna World Cup This Weekend

Feb. 15, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
For Immediate Release February 15, 2008 Contact: Nicole Jomantas, 719.866.4732 Nicole.Jomantas@usajudo.us (Colorado Springs, Colo.)-Five top-ranked U.S. men will compete at the Vienna World Cup in Austria this weekend where they will fight in a tournament that is scheduled to include 538 players from nearly 58 nations. Ryan Reser (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center) is returning to Europe for the second time this season after competing in the Belgium Open in Vise two weeks ago. The reigning Pan American Games Champion, Reser is a three-time World Cup medalist in the 73kg division, having won his last two medals on the 2006 Tour. Travis Stevens (Glenville, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center / 81kg) also won gold at the 2007 Pan American Games and has been in Europe at training camps and competitions for the past two weeks, placing ninth in both Belgium as well as the Paris Super World Cup last weekend. Rick Hawn (Wakefield, Mass. / USA Judo National Team FORCE / 90kg), a 2007 Pan Am Games bronze medalist, competed with Stevens in both French and Belgium tournaments and is seeking his first placing in a World Cup tournament. Like Reser, his teammate at the OTC, Taylor Takata (Colorado Springs, Colo. / 66kg) competed in both the Belgium Open and the subsequent training camp at the beginning of February, but returned to the United States to train before this weekend's event. Takata placed ninth in Belgium and has fought in the World Cup medal rounds as a 60kg player, but has yet to place in the top five on the Tour. Taraje William-Murray (Wakefield, Mass. / USA Judo National Team FORCE) will be competing in his first European event since winning the Tre-Torri International, a B-Level tournament last June. Competition begins with the 60kg, 66kg and 73kg divisions on Saturday and concludes with the 81kg, 90kg, 100kg and +100kg divisions on Sunday. Among the international players competing this weekend, Austria recently released their list of players, including the following: 60 kg Ludwig Paischer, two-time World medalist Reinhold Puhringer, 2007 Swiss and Swedish Open medalist Oliver Haider, 2007 Austrian National silver medalist 66kg Andreas Mitterfellner, 2007 World Championships seventh-place finisher Michael Mayr, 2007 European U20 Championships medalist 73kg Christoph Stangl, four-time World Cup medalist Peter Scharinger, 2007 Austrian U23 Champion Tobias Brunner, 2007 Austrian National bronze medalist Bernhard Mayr, 2006 Austrian National bronze medalist in the 66kg division 81kg Florian Rinnerthaler, 2005 Paris Super World Cup silver medalist Albert Fercher, 2007 European U20 Championships fifth-place finisher 90kg Stefan Kronberger, 2008 Belgium Open Champion Max Schirnhofer, 2008 Belgium Open silver medalist 100kg Franz Birkfellner, 2007 World Championships seventh-place finisher Florian Lindner, 2007 Swiss Open medalist For more information, contact Nicole Jomantas, USA Judo Director of Communications and Media Relations, at 719.866.4732 or Nicole.Jomantas@usajudo.us. -END-