Pan Am Games kick off Saturday

Oct. 14, 2011, 4:02 p.m. (ET)

The four-day taekwondo competition at the 2011 Pan American Games gets underway on Saturday, Oct. 15 in Guadalajara, Mexico, with a strong U.S. team ready to test its mettle against its Pan American rivals.

Five current members of the U.S. National Team are among the eight-member squad including Lauren Hamon (Miami, Fla.) in women’s +67kg division, Terrence Jennings (Alexandria, Va.) in the men’s -68kg division, Stephen Lambdin (Colleyville, Texas) in the men’s +80kg division, Paige McPherson (Sturgis, S.D.) in the women’s -67kg division, and Deireanne Morales (Lynwood, Calif.) in the women’s -49kg division. Hamon and Jennings were members of the 2007 Pan American Games team that competed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Jennings and McPherson are tuning up for the Pan Am Olympic Qualifier tournament in November in Queretaro, Mexico. A top-three finish at that event will secure their respective weight divisions for the U.S. at next summer’s Olympic Games in London.

The other members of the U.S. team include 2010 Youth Olympic Games Team member Olie Burton (Accokeek, Md.) in the men’s -58kg division, 2010 national champion TJ Curry (Bakersfield, Calif.) in the men’s -80kg division and four-time Junior National Team member Nicole Palma (Lake Worth, Fla.) in the women’s -57kg division.

The taekwondo competition kicks off on Saturday with the men’s -58kg (Olie Burton) and women’s -49kg (Deireanne Morales) competition, followed on Sunday by the men’s -68kg (Terrence Jennings) and women’s -57kg (Nicole Palma) categories, on Monday by the men’s -80kg (TJ Curry) and women’s -67kg (Paige McPherson) divisions, and concluding on Tuesday with the men’s +80kg (Stephen Lambdin) and women’s +67kg (Lauren Hamon) divisions.

Live streaming coverage of the Pan Am Games will be available. Go to for more details.

Men’s flyweight (-58kg)
Men’s featherweight (-68kg)
Men’s welterweight (-80kg)
Men’s heavyweight (+80kg)

Women’s flyweight (-49kg)
Women’s featherweight (-57kg)
Women’s welterweight (-67kg)
Women’s heavyweight (+67kg)