US Olympic Judo Golden Girl Kayla Harrison Leads Team With Gold today in Argentina

By Ernest Pund | March 23, 2013, 10:04 p.m. (ET)

U.S. Olympic Judo Golden Girl, Kayla Harrison, Leads Team With Gold Today in Argentina

US Elites Total Three Gold, Four Silver, Six Bronze On Tour

Contact: Ernest Pund

USA Judo Communications

March 23, 2013 -- Team USA’s Kayla Harrison today added a gold medal to a terrific chest of bling collected on a two-tourney tour in Argentina and Uruguay by the biggest USA Judo team to venture out since Harrison’s historic Olympic win in London last summer.

Harrison (NYAC/Team FORCE, Wakefield, Mass.) was fighting at 70 the Pan American Open today in Buenos Aires, Argentina, down a weight division from the Olympics in London. She landed a few yukos in the final round for gold before catching her opponent, Yuri Alvear of Colombia, in an arm bar for ippon to finish the match.

Taking a silver medal today was Samantha Bleier, 78 kg. (U.S. Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, CO). She added that medal to the gold already around her neck that she won last week at the Pan American Open in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Taking silver yesterday in Buenos Aires was Hannah Martin, 63 kg. (NYAC/Jason Morris Judo Center, Glenville, NY). This was her second medal on the tour, taking a bronze in Montevideo.

Harrison added her gold to a silver she claimed at the Pan American Open in Montevideo last week. Two-time Olympian Travis Stevens, 81 kg. (NYAC/Team FORCE, Wakefield, Mass.) took gold last week in Montevideo, tearing through the ranks with a withering arsenal of standing and ground maneuvers. Janine Nakao 63 kg. (NYAC/Team FORCE, Wakefield, Mass.) took silver last week in Montevideo.

Team USA’s total for the two tournaments: three gold, four silver and six bronze. Called Continental Opens, these are the new names given by the International Judo Federation for World Cups, where elite athletes collect essential training and valuable ranking points for placing.

Climbing the podium for bronze yesterday in Buenos Aires was Aaron Kunihiro, 60 kg. (NYAC/Team FORCE, Wakefield, Mass.). Those winning bronze last week in Montevideo along with Hannah Martin were Angelica Delgado, 52 kg. (Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center, Coral Springs, FL), Hana Carmichael, 57 kg. (NYAC/Team FORCE, Wakefield, Mass.), Alisha Galles, 63 kg. (Mojica Judo Club, Lancaster, CA). and Jacob Larsen, 90 kg. (Boulder Judo Training Center/U.S. Olympic Training Center, CO).

To see all the results and brackets, go to IPPON.ORG.