Draws Are Done Competition Begins Thursday At World Cadet Championships

By Ernest Pund | Aug. 07, 2013, 10:10 p.m. (ET)

August 7, 2013, Miami – The draws are in, the first round of the brackets are cast and three members of Team USA will lead the way at USA Judo’s first Cadet World Championships, one of the most prestigious tournaments on earth for these teens.

Jose H. Rodriguez, USA Judo’s CEO, thanked Marius Vizer, President of the International Judo Federation, “for the faith in our organization to hold this World Championship here in Miami. We wish the best of success in this competition to all. We will do everything within our means to make this the best championship ever.”

Representing the United States tomorrow will be three young fighters. For two of them, the ‘home turf’ couldn’t be much closer to home: Adonis Diaz, 17, and Brian Abreu, 15, of Miami. And coming from San Francisco to celebrate her 15th birthday by stepping onto the mats at this prestigious tournament is Alex Hyatt, the third member of the 19-strong U.S. team.

And at 19, the United States does not have the largest team. Russia, Mongolia and France all have teams of 20 at the World Cadet Championships. Canada and Kazakhstan both matched the United State at 19 each.

“Winning a medal would be the best present I could ever ask for,” said Hyatt, “and I intend to go all out – big thanks to all my dedicated coaches from Cahill's Judo Academy (San Bruno, CA) and from San Jose State University Judo. You have all inspired me to be the best that I can be.”

Diaz, 55 kg., of USA Judo Training Site at Ki-Itsu-Sai in Coconut Creek, drew a bye the first round, then faces the winner between Alibek Choroev of Kyrgyzstan and Tushigtur Zembe of Mongolia. The brackets include 47 of only the best young fighters who qualified from their respective nations.

At final count, 536 teens, ages 15 – 17, arrived in Miami from 80 nations for a shot at the $50,000 in prize money for taking a medal and a shot at a spot competing at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing next year.

Abreu, 50 kg., Budokan Judo in Hialeah, faces Canada’s Ossama Mahmoud in the first round, amid a field of 33 fighters.

Hyatt, 44 kg., faces Colombia’s Dana Gomez in the first round with 24 top young women in that division.

Competition is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. EST. Watch it live by going to USA Judo’s website at WWW.USJudo.US. And follow your favorite athletes through the brackets at WWW.IPPON.ORG.

Members of the U.S. team have come from all over the nation, Hawaii to New York, California to Florida. Six are from Florida, a rising power of young judo talent. See the US ROSTER.

The schedule of competition follows.

Thursday: Men, 50 kg. and 55 kg.; Women, 40 kg. and 44 kg.

Friday: Men, 60 kg. and 66 kg.; Women, 48 kg. and 52 kg.

Saturday: Men, 73 kg. and 81 kg.; Women, 57 kg. and 63 kg.

Sunday: Men, 90 kg. and 90+ kg.; Women, 70 kg and 70+ kg.

The World Cadet Championships is sanctioned by the International Judo Federation and hosted by USA Judo, the national governing body under the U.S. Olympic Committee that fosters the sport and builds teams for Olympic and other elite competition. The World Cadet Judo Championships is made possible with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.