Four Gold, One Bronze on Opening Day of Junior Pan Ams
The 2009 U.S. Junior National Taekwondo Team got off to an impressive start Friday at the 5th Pan Am Junior Taekwondo Championshipsis in San Salvador, El Salvador. The six fighters in action on the opening day of competition captured four gold medals and one bronze medal.
Gold medalists were male bantamweight Olie Burton (Accokeek, Md.), female lightweight Sana Jafarzadeh (Gaithersburg, Md.), male light middleweight Jaysen Ishida (Waikele, Hawaii) and female light middleweight Nicole Palma (Lake Worth, Fla.). The bronze medal was won by female bantamweight Taylor Brennan (Hilliard, Ohio).
Burton posted wins over fighters from Peru (3-2), Costa Rica (12-3) and Mexico (4-2).
Jafarzadeh defeated competitors from Argentina (3-1), Colombia (6-2), Canada (6-5) and Mexico in overtime of the gold-medal match.
Ishida scored victories over Brazil (5-0), Argentina (9-1), Honduras (3-0) and Venezuela in overtime.
Palma's path to the gold medal included wins over Costa Rica (17-0), Venezuela by knockout, and Mexico in the finals.
Brennan opened the day with a 5-1 win over Honduras and a 1-0 victory over El Salvador, but lost her semifinal match to Canada, 5-3.
The other U.S. fighter in action on Friday was male lightweight Matthew Kim (Ramsey, N.J.). Kim defeated his competitor from El Salvador in the opening round, 22-4, but dropped a 3-2 decision to Mexico in the Round of 16.
The schedule for U.S. fighters on the final two days of competition is as follows:
Saturday, November 21
Male flyweight - Emmanuel Fountain (Norfolk, Va.)
Female flyweight - Haley Kong (Hillsborough, Calif.)
Male featherweight - Seth Wolfe (Miami, Fla.)
Female featherweight - Shelby Olson (Palm Harbor, Fla.)
Male middleweight - Wardell Samotshozo (Fairfax, Va.)
Female middleweight - Alexandra Cinque (Ossining, N.Y.)
Male light heavyweight - Ernest Samotshozo (Fairfax, Va.)
Female light heavyweight - Kayla Caracciolo-Clayton (Manassas, Va.)
Sunday, November 22
Male finweight - Gregory English (Chicago, Ill.)
Female finweight - Giuliana Gil (Pasadena, Calif.)
Male welterweight - Christian Medina (Chicago, Ill.)
Female welterweight - Alexis Martinez (Pembroke Pines, Fla.)
Male heavyweight - Tyler Phippen (Maple Valley, Wash.)
Female heavyweight - Adrienne Ivey (Ashburn, Va.)
Get updates from the event via USA Taekwondo's Twitter feed at http://twitter.com/USA_Taekwondo.