Myles Porter Wins 2nd Consecutive Bronze Medal At IBSA World Games
“I came here to win, so losing to the Korean was a disappointment,” said Porter. “But I am happy that I was able to come back out and dominate the next match and win the bronze.”
Porter began the day with a quick win over Oliver Upmann (GER), arm barring the German in the first minute of the match. In his second match, Myles faced Aramitsu Kitazono (JPN). The Japanese player was much shorter than Myles, who had difficulty countering his tai otoshi (body drop) throws. In the second minute, Myles managed a beautiful tani otoshi (rear counter throw) for ippon. This put Myles in the semifinals against last years gold medalist Gwang Geun Choi (KOR). Although Myles came out strong against the Korean player, Choi caught Myles with o uchi gari (inner reaping throw) for ippon in the second minute of the match. This lost put Myles in the bronze medal match against Zakir Mislimov (AZE). Mislimov, a very physical player, came out strong, but Myles controlled the pace of the match both standing and on the ground, until he threw the Azerbaijani with tomoe nage (circle throw) for ippon and his second world bronze medal.
“I am very proud of the way Myles bounced back after his disappointing loss to the Korean player,” said coach Scott Moore. “I was glad to see that he was able to refocus and defeat the Azerbaijani player, and bring home another medal for the US.”
This medal ranks Myles in the top 4 in the world in the IBSA rankings, virtually guaranteeing him a slot in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, England. Myles will compete in three weeks at the US Senior National Championships in the able-bodied division, where last year he became the first visually impaired player to earn a medal, a silver in the 100kg division.
Katie Davis (Sacramento, CA/Team Sacramento), also had a successful day, finishing 5th in the Paralympic weight division of +70kg. Last year Katie finished with a silver medal in the non-Paralympic weight of 78kg, but was shut out in the higher weight category. This year, Davis, who generally fights under 78kg, was one of the smallest players in the division. After a first round bye, Katie lost her first match to eventual bronze medalist Zoubida Boauzoug (ALG) when Bouazoug was able to overpower her with a koshi garuma (head lock throw) for wazari and pin her for the win. Katie then dropped in to the repechage where she faced the much larger Svetlana Ganieva (RUS). Katie picked up the tempo and was able to secure a yoko shiho gatame (side pin) for the win. This put Katie in the bronze medal match against Hafida Ghenem (ALG). Again, Katie had difficulty with the much shorter Algerian, and was eventually thrown for wazari and pinned, giving her a 5th place finish. This gives Katie some much-needed IBSA world ranking points, going in to the third and final Paralympic qualifying event, the ParaPan America Games in Guadalajara, Mexico in November. Katie will also participate in the 78kg weight division on Saturday, April 9.
Greg DeWall (Sacramento, CA/Sacramento Judo), achieved his first international success since dropping from +100kg to 90kg following the 2008 Paralympic Games, where he won a bronze medal. Greg has struggled to make adjustments to the lighter and faster opponents, but found his stride today. After a bye in the first round, Greg faced Hector Espinoza (VEN) who he dispatched quickly by pinning him for ippon. He then advanced to the quarter-finals against eventual bronze medalist M. Nataj Seyed Amir (IRI). The Iranian player threw Greg with yoko otoshi (side sacrifice throw). Greg then dropped to the repechage against Yusuke Hatsuse (JPN). Hatususe scored a yuko early in the match, but Greg battled back and choked the Japanese player in the 2 minute for the win. Greg then faced Oleksandr Pomiov (UKR). Although he gripped and moved well, the Ukranian was able to counter Greg’s o uchi gari attack for ippon. Greg finished 7th overall, also giving him qualifying points for the 2012 Paralympic Games. “It was great to be able to finally come out and have some success at 90kg,” said DeWall. “I can’t wait for Guadalajara and to see if I can qualify for my second Paralympic team.”
Another top finisher today was Christella Garcia (Sacramento, CA/Sacramento Judo) at 70kg. Garcia finished 5th at this event last year, and was hoping to better her performance this year. However, this year’s event drew a record number of female competitors, and Christella’s division was noticeably larger this year. She started out with a strong win against hometown favorite Guler Yur (TUR). Christella was able to throw the Turk with tai otoshi counter thrown and secure a pin for the win. In her next match, Christella faced eventual bronze medalist Tatiana Savostianova (RUS), last year’s gold medalist at 78kg. Christella came out strong, throwing the Russian for what arguably should have been a wazari. No score was awarded, and Christella continued to attack. However, Savostianova was able to counter two of Christella’s koshi garuma (headlock throw) attacks for two wazaris, dropping Christella into the repechage against
Tong Zhou (CHN).
Christella began this match by throwing Zhou for a wazari in the first exchange. The Chinese player then came back, throwing Christella for wazari of her own. The two players exchanged grips and attacks until Christella attacked with tomoe nage (circle throw) and was pinned by Zhou.Christella also hopes that the points gained at this event will stand her in good stead in the world rankings going in to Guadalajara and the Paralympics.
Two other US players participated today. Ryan Jones (Englewood, CO/Denver Judo), has also dropped from +100kg to 90kg this year. In his first international event at this weight, Jones faced Olivier Cugnon de Sevricourt (FRA) in his first match. The French player dominated the match, throwing Ryan several times for small scores before pinning him for ippon. Cugnon de Sevricourt advanced to the semifinals, pulling Ryan into the repechage, where he faced Ganbat Dashtseren (MGL). Ryan was much more on his game, throwing the Mongolian for a strong wazari with drop seoi nage (drop shoulder throw). However, the more experienced Mongolian was able to pull out the win, pinning Jones in the fourth minute of the match and eliminating him from competition. The final competitor of the day was first time world team member Steven Mulhern (Philadelphia, PA/Liberty Bell Judo). Steven came out strong against his much larger opponent, Julien Taurines (FRA), but was thrown for ippon with harai goshi (sweeping hip throw) in the first minute. Taurines did not advance and Steven was eliminated.