Rising US Stars Join Roster for Grand Prix Miami

By Ernest Pund | May 22, 2013, 10:36 p.m. (ET)

Rising U.S. Stars Join Roster for Grand Prix Miami

One of the coolest things about USA Judo hosting a Grand Prix next month in Miami is that lots of up-and-coming stars will join the ranks of super elite Olympians and other veterans of the international arena in fighting for big international ranking points and a piece of that $100,000 purse.

Among the young guns headed to Miami, June 15-16, are: Siblings George, 60 kg., and Annie Truong, 48 kg. (USA Judo Training Site, Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, CO);  Anne Suzuki, 48 kg. (San Jose Buddhist Judo, Campbell, CA); Amelia Fulgentes, 57 kg. (Mojica Judo, Baldwin Park, CA); Lauren Baez, 63 kg. (USA Judo Training Site, Ki-Itsu-Sai, Coral Springs, FL); Austin Cook, 66 kg. (USA Judo Training Site, Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, CO).

“A lot of these kids are getting a shot they wouldn’t have had,” said Eddie Liddie, USA Judo’s Director of High Performance. “It is really a terrific opportunity, getting to fight in a major international tournament on home soil, made possible by USA Judo hosting this elite international tournament.”

To see the whole team, link to ROSTER.

Sanctioned by the International Judo Federation, Grand Prix Miami is the most prestigious judo competition held on home soil other than the Olympic Games.  Each nation can send only two top ranked athletes per division. USA Judo, however, because it is hosting the event, can send four per division. And because it is on home soil, the cost of getting athletes to the event is typically much lower that it would be in Europe or Asia, for example.

Grand Prix tournaments are nearly a necessity for anyone headed toward a World Championship tournament or the Olympic Games – Grand Prix Miami is, by the way, the first time that athletes can collect points toward qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

For information on attending and purchasing one of several hospitality packages including room at the luxurious Doral Golf Resort and Spa, the tournament venue just minutes from the famous beaches of Miami, go to EXPERIENCE.