Spanish Open News and Notes

May 07, 2013, 5:02 p.m. (ET)

Finishing Strong
Team USA closed out the weekend at the 2013 Spanish Open in Alicante, Spain, with hardware in the junior and cadet divisions on Sunday.

Valorie Loureda won a bronze medal in the female junior -68kg division after defeating Soumaya Belkhir Santiago of Spain, 15-2, and losing to Lorena Brandl of Germany, 9-1, in the semifinals.  

Isabella Hrunka earned bronze in the 12-14 female cadet -44kg division. Hrunka knocked off Spain’s Cinthia Vizcaino Soler, 10-4, followed by a win against Jeavonne Satter of the Netherlands, 3-1. She lost in the semifinal to Marta Oliver Hernandez of Spain, 10-1.

Congratulations to these two young athletes for representing the U.S. and brining the weekend medal count to six!

They Said It
USA Taekwondo caught up with three of the senior medalists in Madrid to get their thoughts on a successful Spanish Open. Here is what they had to say:

“I believe that my mental state was in full focus. There were a lot of obstacles—smaller rings, shorter time in our matches, the holding areas were different—so I just tried to rise to the occasion, remain focused and take this as another tournament to get ready for World Championships.” Gold medalist Paige McPherson, women’s welter

“I kept calm throughout my fights, even if I was down. I think just keeping my cool helped me a lot and I was a lot more focused. I wasn’t paranoid or freaking out, so that helped out a lot.” Silver medalist Giuliana Gil, women’s fin

“It’s going to build up the momentum and give us the confidence we need to see what’s working (for Worlds). You always want to have momentum going into the big tournaments, and this is a great way to start that.” Bronze medalist Jason Neville, men’s middle

On Exchange
Following a successful Saturday at the 2013 Spanish Open that saw a third of the senior U.S. competitors reach the medal stand, the Senior National Team is spending this week in Madrid at a seven-day Exchange Camp with the Spanish National Team. All athletes in the U.S. delegation but Spanish Open bronze medalist Logan Gerick are partaking in the camp.