U.S. Athletes Return to Sweden Open This Weekend

Oct. 31, 2008, 7:08 p.m. (ET)

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) - With a 1,000 Euro prize on the line, the Sweden Open in Boras is one of the most popular fall B-Level tournaments with U.S. athletes competing annually against high level European players. 

This year is no different as five Americans will fight this weekend, including four current or former National Champions, each with the goal of earning his or her first Sweden Open medal.

A 2007 Pan American Games medalist in the 48kg division and 2006 Senior National Champion, 18-year-old Jeanette Rodriguez (Coral Springs, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami) will compete for the first time internationally as a 52kg player.  Rodriguez fought for bronze in Sweden last year, but placed fifth. 

Two reigning National Champions will compete in the 48kg division: Natalie Lafon (Glenville, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center) and Ann Shiraishi (San Francisco, Calif. / East Bay Judo Institute)

Lafon is the Senior National Champion in the 48kg division while Shiraishi, a 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Alternate at 48kg, won the Senior Nationals earlier this year when she fought up to 52kg.   

Bobby Lee (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE), the current National Champion in the 73kg division compete at the Sweden Open for the first time. 

Angelica Delgado (Miami, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami), the 2008 Senior Nationals silver medalist, at 57kg, also will be fighting this weekend.

Competition schedule is as follows:

Saturday, November 1

Men's 81kg, 90kg, 100kg and +100kg

Women's 48kg, 52kg and 57kg

Sunday, November 2

Men's 60kg, 66kg and 73kg

Women's 63kg, 70kg, 78kg and +78kg