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Big Elite Team Heads to Uruguay and Argentina As New Olympic Quadrennium Begins

By Ernest Pund | March 13, 2013, 12:27 p.m. (ET)

Big Elite Team Heads to Uruguay, Argentina As New Olympic Quadrennium Begins

The new Olympic quadrennial begins with a huge team of USA Judo’s top athletes, along with some up-and-coming stars, headed to international tournaments in Uruguay this weekend and then straight away to Argentina.

  This is the first major competition for some of the Olympians since       London, including Kayla Harrison (NYAC/Team FORCE, Wakefield,  Mass.), who took the nation’s first Olympic Gold medal inthe judo.

 Myles Porter, 100 kg (NYAC/U.S.  Olympic Training Center,  Colorado Springs, CO), who took  silver at the Paralympic Games in  London last summer will also be venturing onto the mats for the first time since climbing that lofty podium.

Leading the team to Uruguay is Eddie Liddie, USA Judo’s Director of High Performance. He sees this as a low-pressure opportunity for most of these athletes to shake off the rust and get back in the game. “They are going to ease themselves now back into the process, with the first long-term goal being the World Championships in August.”

Like the Olympic Games in 2016, the World Championships will be held this summer in Rio de Janeiro.  Only four U.S. athletes, including Kayla Harrison in 2010, have taken a gold medal from the World Championships. En route to the Worlds, U.S. elites will fight at the Pan American Championships in Costa Rica in April. Many of the U.S. athletes who fight there will have just come from the U.S. Senior National Championships in Virginia Beach, VA.

The team of 12 males and 13 females first head to the Pan American Open in Montevideo,
Uruguay, Saturday and Sunday. Most of the team then heads to a Pan American Open in Buenos Aires, Argentina, March 22 – 23. These tournaments, called Continental Opens, are sanctioned under the International Judo Federation and, until recently, were called World Cups.

The tournament in Argentina is the last chance for athletes to collect the points that would qualify them to represent the United States at the Pan American Championships. That makes this a particularly important run for visually impaired Paralympian Myles Porter, who’s fired-up to fight in able-bodied divisions moving forward. See his Q&A feature above.

Among other U.S. elites looking for top action are two-time Olympian Travis Stevens, 81 kg (NYAC/Team FORCE, Wakefield, Mass.), Angelica Delgado, 52 kg (Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center, Coral Springs, FL) and climbing star 18-year-old George Truong, 60 kg (U.S. Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, CO). 

Coaching alongside Liddie in Uruguay will be Jim Pedro, Sr., of Pedro’s Judo Center, Wakefield, Mass., and father of 2012 U.S. Olympic Judo Coach Jimmy Pedro; Jhonny Prado, Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center, Coral Springs, FL; and Sauveur Soriano, Westchester Judo, Scarsdale, NY.

 See the brackets at IPPON.ORG. Watch live streaming action at IPPON.TV.

COMPLETE ROSTER

Men

-60kg: Aaron Kunihiro, Pedro’s Judo Center, Wakefield, MA

-60kg: George Truong, OTC Judo Club, Colorado Springs, CO

-60kg: Corwin Learned, San Jose State University Judo, El Granada, CA

-66kg: Rick Roig, Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center, Pembroke Pines, FL

-73kg: Joseph Hashimoto, OTC Judo Club, Thornton, CO

-73kg: Salama Salem, Tech Judo, Jersey City, NJ

-73kg: Bobby Lee, Pedro’s Judo Center, Wakefield, MA

-81kg: Travis Stevens, Pedro’s Judo Center, Wakefield, MA

-81kg: Tony Sangimino, Jason Morris Judo Center, Burnt Hills, NY

-90kg: Jake Larsen, OTC Judo Club, Denver, CO

-100kg: Myles Porter, OTC Judo Club, Colorado Springs, CO

-100kg: Ajax Tadehara, Idaho State University Judo Club, Pocatello, ID

 

Women

-48kg: Alexa Liddie, OTC  Judo Club, Colorado Springs, CO

-48kg: Veronica Prado, North Miami Judo, Coral Springs, FL

-52kg: Alaine Abuan, Tech Judo, Jersey City, NJ

-52kg: Angelica Delgado, Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center, Miami, FL

-57kg: Veronica Graves, OTC Judo Club, Colorado Springs, CO

-57kg: Hana Carmichael, Pedro’s Judo Center, Wakefield, MA

-63kg: Hannah Martin, Jason Morris Judo Center, Burnt Hills, NY

-63kg: Janine Nakao, Pedro’s Judo Center, Wakefield, MA

-63kg: Alisha Galles, Mojica Judo Club, Lancaster, CA

-63kg: Leilani Akiyama, US Judo Training Center, Bellevue, WA

-70kg: Samantha Bleier, OTC Judo Club, Colorado Springs, CO

-70kg: Kathleen Sell, OTC Judo Club, Colorado Springs, CO

-70kg: Kayla Harrison, Pedro’s Judo Center, Marblehead, MA

 

Coaches

Ed Liddie, OTC Judo Club, Colorado Springs, CO

Jhonny Prado, Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center, Coral Springs, FL

Jim Pedro Sr, Pedro’s Judo Center, Wakefield, MA

Sauveur Soriano, Westchester Judo, Scarsdale, NY

 





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