:Photo Credit: IJF Media Team
The popularity of judo worldwide could not have been more obvious than it was last week at the World Championships in Rio de Janeiro as medals were ever so thinly spread among the many nations represented, even with the typical power plants like Japan and France topping the final tally.
Marti Malloy (USA Judo Training Site, San Jose State University Judo/NYAC, San Jose, CA) picked up the one medal for the United States, a silver after going 5-1 defeating the No. 3 and No. 8 ranked athletes in the 57 kg division, the biggest bracket among women at the Worlds with 50 fighters competing.
And while Malloy won the only medal for Team USA, there were a number of U.S. athletes, like Jonathan Fernandez, 81 kg. (Baragua Judo Kai, Miami, FL), who, at just 22-years-old, advanced two rounds in one of the largest male brackets at the Worlds to demonstrate terrific ability and a promising future.
Added to her bronze medal from the Olympic Games in London, Malloy’s victory in Rio was an important benchmark for her and USA Judo, clearly defining her as a superstar on the world stage of this sport, alongside teammate Kayla Harrison (USA Judo Training Site, Pedro’s Judo Center/NYAC, Wakefield, Mass.), who last summer in London took the nation’s first Olympic Gold Medal in judo.
USA Judo sent a team of 15 athletes to the Worlds, including seven women and eight men. Many of them train at one of several official USA Judo-supported training sites across the country and several receive direct, individual financial support allowing them to focus more fully on their performance.
See all the results at WWW.IPPON.ORG.