Taekwondo

USAT Juniors Win Five Medals on Opening Day of Dutch Open

March 21, 2009, 5:32 p.m. (ET)

2008 World Junior bronze medalist Olie Burton (Accokeek, Md.) won the gold medal in the male junior bantamweight division on Saturday during the opening day of the 36th Dutch Open in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Burton's medal was one of five on the day for the USA Taekwondo Junior Team that is competing in the two-day event. The Dutch Open is utilizing the adidas electronic scoring system for the event.

Also medaling for the U.S. on Saturday was Nicole Palma (Lake Worth, Fla.) who captured the silver medal in the female junior welterweight division. Bronze medals were earned by female junior featherweight Kiana Lo (Danville, Calif.), female junior lightweight Victoria Stambaugh (Pasadena, Texas) and female junior light-middleweight Merissa Pico (Fort Lee, N.J.).

Burton needed five straight wins to claim the junior bantamweight title. He opened the day with wins over Denmark's Aryan Sanjari (7-0) and Netherlands' Hossam Sadik (5-(-2)). In the quarterfinals, Burton beat Great Britain's Scott Atkinson (5-1), and then defeated Spain's Samuel De La Calle in the semifinal round by withdrawal. He beat Serbia's Milos Golabovic by point-gap (8-1) to claim the gold medal.

Palma scored wins over Germany's Jasmin Rogoszynski (5-0), Croatia's Josipa Milanovic (2-(-1)), USA's Devon Lewis (6-3) and Poland's Daria Cwiklinska (2-0) to reach the finals where she lost to Germany's Tugba Ucak (2-1).

Lo defeated Serbia's Ljiljana Dondor (5-4), Germany's Shae-Room Kim (4-0) and Spain's Laura Cejas by withdrawal to reach the medal round. In the semifinals she lost an 8-2 decision to Norway's Salsabil Saaliti. Sana Jafarzadeh, a U.S. competitor who is not a part of the USAT squad, also won bronze in the female junior featheweight division.

Stambaugh reached the medal round with wins over Germany's Antonela Campanille (8-0), Greece's Evoxia Gavrilidou (7-1) and Croatia's Iskra Pezdirc (2-0). She lost a 1-0 decision to Germany's Carolyn Scharf in the semifinal round.

Pico defeated Scotland's Rebecca Smyth (2-0) and Croatia's Rea Budic (7-5) to advance to the semifinals. There she lost a 3-0 decision to eventual gold medalist Antonija Zeravica of Croatia.

Other USAT Junior Team members in action on Saturday included male featherweight Jeffery Williams, Jr. (Waianae, Hawaii), male bantamweight Jericho Yabut (Canyon Country, Calif.), female bantamweight Talina Le (Woodinville, Wash.), and male welterweight Jared Schneider (Sugar Land, Texas).

Williams advanced to the quarterfinal round of his division with wins over Netherlands' Amine El Morabit (1-0) and Germany's Andre Hauke (3-2). He lost his quarterfinal match to Mexico's Luis Aguilar (1-(-1)).

Yabut, Le and Schneider all lost their first round matches on Saturday. Yabut dropped a 1-0 decision to Serbia's Bogdan Rakic, Le lost by superiority to Croatia's Jana Beligoj, and Schneider lost to Denmark's Thanh Pham, 12-11.

The USAT Junior Team will have one more competitor in action on Sunday. Adrienne Ivey (San Leandro, Calif.) will be competing in the female junior heavyweight division where she has a first-round bye into the quarterfinal round.

For complete coverage of the Dutch Open, including live results, click HERE.

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