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U.S. Open lineup to feature World, Olympic and Pan Am Medalists

Sept. 24, 2009, 3 a.m. (ET)

(San Jose, Calif.) – The U.S. Open Judo Championships will kick off on Friday with more than a dozen World, Olympic and Pan Am medalists among the estimated 250 senior elite players that are expected to compete in the two-day B-Level international tournament. 

The tournament will include competition in senior elite divisions as well as kata (forms), masters (+30-years-old) and visually impaired divisions.  The tournament also will be held simultaneously with the OTM Ju-Jitsu National Championships

Competition will be held on Friday and Saturday at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center with the schedule as follows:

Friday September 25

9 a.m.
Senior Elite Preliminaries (Men’s 81kg, 90kg, 100kg, +100kg and Women’s 63kg, 70kg, 78kg and +78kg)

1 p.m.
Kata Divisions

5 p.m.
Senior Elite Medal Matches

Saturday September 26

9 a.m.
Senior Elite Preliminaries (Men’s 55kg, 60kg, 66kg, 73kg, Open and Women’s 44kg, 48kg, 52kg, 57kg and Open)

9 a.m.
White belt ju-jitsu divisions

Noon
Blue belt ju-jitsu divisions

1 p.m.
Masters divisions
Visually impaired divisions

3 p.m.
Purple belt ju-jitsu divisions

4 p.m.
Brown belt ju-jitsu divisions

5 p.m.
Senior elite medal matches
Ju-jitsu Superfights

The international contingent is headlined by Mongolian Khashbaatar Tsagaanbaatar (MGL) who won the World Championships in August as a 66kg player and placed third at the 2004 Olympic Games in the 60kg division.  Tsagaanbaatar, who is joined by three of his Mongolian teammates, will compete in the 73kg division this week. 

Venezuela also is fielding a top team of athletes that includes all of the players that fought at the World Championships last month.  Among the 21-player squad are at least six former Pan Am medalists, including Ludwig Ortiz, a 10-time Pan Am medalist in the 73kg division and fifth-place finisher at the 1999 Worlds, and Javier Guedez, an eight-time Pan Am medalist who placed seventh at the Worlds in August as a 60kg player.  The Venezuelan women also are expected to be top contenders in San Jose, including Isis Barreto (63kg), a five-time Pan Am medalist and seventh-place finisher at the 2008 Olympic Games, and Flor Velazquez (52kg), a six-time Pan Am medalist and ninth-place finisher at the 2008 Olympic Games. 

Athletes also are scheduled to compete from France, Japan, Great Britain, Australia, China and Brazil.

Ten members of the 2009 U.S. World Team and two 2008 U.S. Olympic Team members are scheduled to compete, including: 

  • Katelyn Bouyssou (Hope, R.I. / NYAC / Mayo Quanchi Judo Club / 48kg), 2009 World Team member and 2008 U.S. Open silver medalist
  • Kayla Chappell (Oklahoma City, Okla. / USA Stars / 52kg), 2009 World Team member and 2008 U.S. Open Champion
  • Marti Malloy (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University / 57kg), two-time World Team member and two-time U.S. Open silver medalist
  • Janine Nakao (Wakefield, Mass. / USA Judo National Team FORCE / 63kg), 2009 World Team member and two-time National Champion
  • Katie Sell (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center / 70kg), 2009 World Team member and two-time U.S. Open medalist
  • Kayla Harrison (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE / 78kg), 2009 World Team member and three-time U.S. Open Champion
  • Aaron Kunihiro (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE / 60kg), 2009 World Team member and 2008 U.S. Open bronze medalist
  • Jeff Fong (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University / 66kg), 2009 World Team member and 2008 U.S. Open silver medalist
  • Michael Eldred (Fruitland, Idaho / Western Idaho Judo Institute / 73kg), 2009 World Team member and two-time U.S. Open medalist
  • Ryan Reser (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center / 81kg), 2008 Olympian and four-time U.S. Open Champion
  • Daniel McCormick (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE / +100kg), 2009 World Team member and 2008 Olympian

International players to watch include: 

  • Khashbaatar Tsagaanbaatar (MGL / 73kg), 2009 World Champion and 2004 Olympic medalist
  • Ludwig Ortiz (VEN / 73kg), 10-time Pan Am medalist and fifth-place finisher at the 1999 World Championship
  • Javier Guedez (VEN / 60kg), seventh-place finisher at the 2009 World Championships and eight-time Pan Am medalist
  • Isis Barreto (VEN / 63kg), five-time Pan Am medalist and seventh-place finisher at the 2008 Olympic Games
  • Flor Velazquez (VEN / 52kg), six-time Pan Am medalist and ninth-place finisher at the 2008 Olympic Games
  • Kelvi Pinto (VEN / 78kg), three-time Pan Am medalist
  • Jose Camacho (VEN / 90kg), three-time Pan Am medalist
  • Issam Nour (FRA / 60kg), 2009 Belgian Open bronze medalist
  • Robert Edward (CAN / 90kg), 2008 U.S. Open Champion
  • Tokuzo Takahashi (JPN / 100kg), two-time U.S. Open silver medalist
  • Serguei Zamotine (CAN / 60kg), two-time U.S. Open medalist
  • Blake Tsuyuki (CAN / 60kg), two-time Rendez-Vous Canada medalist 
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