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Taekwondo

Esparza, Kim reach Round of 16 to close out Junior World Championships

March 19, 2014, 5:33 p.m. (ET)

Elaine Esparza (female -46kg) and Siwon Kim (male -59kg) reached the Round of 16 in their respective divisions on Day 4 of the 2014 Junior World Championships in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei, closing out the competition for the final four American competitors.

Team USA finished the 10th Junior World Championships with one gold and one bronze medal.

In her first match of the day, Esparza defeated Lotta Linna of Finland in overtime, 1-0, following a 5-5 regulation draw. She then lost to Nahid Kiyanichandeh of Iran, 11-8, in the Round of 16.

Kim defeated Alfred Jason Abanto of the Philippines, 12-2, in the Round of 64, which he followed up with an 11-6 win over Iceland’s Karel Gunnarsson. Seok-Bae Kim of Korea ended Kim’s day in the Round of 16, defeating him, 12-0.

Alexandru Felea (male -63kg) and Olivia Bryant (female -55kg) fell in the Round of 64, losing to Jordan Condere of Guadalupe, 11-9, and Xueting Huang of China, 7-2, respectively.
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Healy grabs bronze on Day 3 of Junior World Championships

Jonathan Healy (male -78kg) won bronze on Day 3 of the 2014 Junior World Championships at Taipei Arena in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei, after working his way through three opponents before finally falling in the semifinal.

Healy defeated Elnur Maharramov of Azerbaijan, 8-4, in the day’s opening round, which he followed up with a win against Genis Gisbert Casanova of Spain. In the quarterfinal round, Healy took care of Oleg Kirillov, 1-0, in overtime after a 7-7 regulation tie. In the semifinal, Healy lost by knockout early in the first round to Gil-Young Byeon of Korea.

“I'm really grateful for the support of all of my teammates and the staff, especially Coach (Arlene) Limas for her coaching today," said the bronze medal winner.

Team USA now has two medals at the Junior World Championships after three days: one gold and one bronze.

Joseph Rodriguez (male -68kg) reached the quarterfinal of the men’s -68kg competition. Rodriguez starting things off with an 8-6 victory over Jonathan Hadad of Lebanon, followed by a 14-7 win against Daniel Dostal of the Czech Republic, 14-7. Rodriguez then took down John Christian Mapalo of the Philippines before falling to eventual champion Davide Spinosa of Italy in the quarterfinal.

Trinity Sullivan (female -42kg) also reached the quarterfinal on Day 3. Sullivan defeated Sofiya Frishko of Russia, 7-4, in the opening round, and then took down Michelle Alvarado of Honduras, 11-1, in the Round of 32. Sullivan missed the medal stand after losing Blanca Palmer of Spain, 2-0, in the quarterfinal.

Julio Quintanilla (male -45kg) defeated Shuan Guo of China, 15-3, before losing to Mahdi Eshaghi of Iran, 17-1, in the Round of 32. Falling in their first matches of the day, Alexis Shepard (female -59kg) lost to Nesrin Karam of Egypt, 9-3, while Taylor Macleod (female -52kg) lost to Iran’s Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin, 12-0.

Competition at the 2014 Junior World Championships closes out on March 26 with four U.S. competitors: Siwon Kim (male -59kg); Alexandru Felea (male -63kg); Elaine Esparza (female -46kg); and Olivia Bryant (female -55kg).

Stay tuned to the USA Taekwondo website for updates and results following competition.
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Wilson advances to quarterfinal at Junior World Championships

Connor Wilson (male -73kg) reached the quarterfinal on Day 2 of the Junior World Championships at Taipei Arena in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei, narrowly missing the medal stand.

Wilson kicked things off with a 9-4 win against Ecuador’s Esteban Noboa, followed by a 4-3 victory over Belgasem el Ahmar of Libya before falling to France’s Ismael Bouzio Souhill, 7-1.

Kelsey Junious (female -44kg) started out strong, defeating Australia’s Benecia Cheong, 8-4, in the opening round, which she followed up with a 4-1 victory against Klaudija Tvaronaviciute of Lithuania. Junious’ day ended in the Round of 16 at the hands of Puerto Rico’s Meliza Rivera, 5-3.

Brazilians took down David Kim (male -51kg) and Isaac Vigil (male -48kg) in the Round of 64. Kim fell to Lucca Vieira, 2-0, while Vigil (male -48kg) lost to Paulo Melo, 15-3. On the women’s side, Kendall Yount (female -63kg) was eliminated in her first fight against Egypt’s Maisoun Farouk, 10-5.

Day 3 will be the biggest day of competition yet with six divisions competing for Junior World titles. U.S. athletes competing: Julio Quintanilla (male -45kg); Joseph Rodriguez (male -68kg); Jonathan Healy (male -78kg); Trinity Sullivan (female -42kg); Taylor Macleod (female -52kg); and Alexis Shepard (female -59kg).
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Ivey takes gold on first day of Junior World Championships

Brandon Ivey (male +78kg) won gold on the first day of the 10th Junior World Championships at Taipei Arena in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei, using two overtime victories to propel him through five wins on the day.

"Greatness is not some elusive, esoteric dream. It's within all of us, and today I just dug deep and found it," Ivey said after the win.

Ivey’s day started with a 6-5 victory over Joel Filipe Alejandro of the Philippines, followed by Magomedrasul Kanamatov of Azerbaijan, 4-2, in Round 2. Ivey defeated Victor Garcia Vazquez of Spain, 6-5, in overtime, before taking down Russia’s Emil Khadeev, 6-5, in the semifinal. Ivey finally clinched gold with a dramatic 5-4 overtime win against Hamza Kattan of Jordan.

In the male -55kg division, Ken Jin defeated Yahor Nixitsenka of Belarus, 13-10, before falling to Maurizio Gerarci of Italy, 16-6, in the second round. Brieanna Hernandez defeated Honestly Morete of New Zealand, 1-0 (dec.) in overtime, before losing to Ekaterina Derev of Germany, 10-2, in the female -68kg division. In the female +68kg category, Madelynn Gorman-Shore advanced to the second round following a withdraw by Aminata Charlene Traore of Ivory Coast. Gorman-Shore then lost, 9-2, to Anastasia Konstantinidoi of Greece in the second round.

Day 2 of the Junior World Championships features five more weight classes. Monday’s lineup for Team USA: Isaac Vigil (male -48kg); David Kim (male -51kg); Connor Wilson (male -73kg); Kelsey Junious (female -44kg); and Kendall Yount (female -63kg).
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Yount takes silver at Youth Olympic Games qualifier, earns bid to Youth Olympic Games

Kendall Yount (female +63kg) earned silver at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games qualifying tournament in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei, earning the opportunity to compete at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games Aug. 16-28 in Nanjing, China.

Yount, who fell 4-3 in the final to Umida Abdullaeva of Uzbekistan, was the only U.S. fighter to qualify for the Youth Olympic Games. Nelson Morales (male 48-55kg) and Zachary Budde (male 55-63kg) both advanced to the second round before falling 4-3 in OT to Fahd Zaouia of the Netherlands and 5-0 to Karol Robak of Poland, respectively. Mandy McCutcheon (female 49-55kg) lost her first match of the day to Thailand's Isarin Thaveepthavornvong, 6-4.

Action continues at Taipei Arena with the 10th Junior World Championships, beginning March 23 at 9 a.m. local time/9 p.m. EDT March 22. Up first for Team USA are Ken Jin (male -55kg), Brandon Ivey (male +78kg), Brieanna Hernandez (female -68kg) and Madelynn Gorman-Shore (female +68kg). 
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Gonciarz, Quintanilla ousted in first round of Youth Olympic Games qualifier

Michelle Gonciarz (female 44-49kg) and Julio Quintanilla (male -48kg) were eliminated in the first round of competition Thursday at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games qualifying tournament in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei. Quintanilla, who is a member of the U.S. Junior National Team, will have an opportunity to fight again at Taipei Arena this weekend in the World Junior Championships.

Gonciarz lost to Indra Craen of Belgium, 15-12, in the opening round, while Quintanilla fell to Vietnam's Huunha Nguyen, 6-5.

The remaining field of Mandy McCutcheon (female 49-55kg), Kendall Yount (female +63kg), Nelson Morales (male 48-55kg) and Zachary Budde (male 55-63kg) will compete on Friday for a shot at qualifying for the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games. Up to three U.S. athletes who finish in the top 8 of their respective weight categories will be eligible to fight at the Aug. 16-28 Youth Olympic Games held in Nanjing, China. Because the U.S. is only able to bring a maximum three athletes to the Youth Olympic Games, the top 3 U.S. finishers who qualify will be invited to Nanjing to compete.

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Twenty-six U.S. athletes are in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei, for the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games qualifying tournament (March 20-21), followed by the 10th World Junior Championships (March 23-26), which will be held at the Taipei Arena.

At the Youth Olympic Games qualifying tournament, six U.S. athletes will compete and try to qualify in the top 8 of their respective weight categories to become eligible to move on to the 2014 Youth Olympic Games, which will be held in Nanjing, China, Aug. 16-28 (taekwondo competition will be Aug. 17-21). Because the U.S. is only able to bring a maximum three athletes to the Youth Olympic Games, the top 3 U.S. finishers who qualify will be invited to Nanjing to compete.

Youth Olympic Games qualifying tournament U.S. team
Michelle Gonciarz; Female 44-49kg
Mandy McCutcheon; Female 49-55kg
Kendall Yount; Female +63kg
Julio Quintanilla; Male -48kg
Nelson Morales; Male 48-55kg
Zachary Budde; Male 55-63kg

Youth Olympic Games qualifying tournament support staff
Head of Team Bruce Harris
Coach Patrice Remarck
Coach Brian McCutcheon
Coach Juan Moreno
Coach Joseph Salim
Trainer  Arlene Limas
Trainer  Sherman Nelson
Team Manager Patrick Wentland
Team Manager Stacy Andrews
Team Doctor Trish Bare Grounds
Team Doctor Maria Rosenberg

The 20-member USA Taekwondo Junior National Team, which was named at National Team Trials in January, will compete March 23-26 at the 10th World Junior Championships. Team USA has one athlete competing in each of the 10 male and female divisions.

Junior World Championships U.S. team
Trinity Sullivan; Female -42kg
Kelsey Junious; Female -44kg
Elaine Esparza; Female -46kg
Miriam Galecki; Female -49kg
Taylor Macleod; Female -52kg
Olivia Bryant; Female -55kg
Alexis Shepard; Female -59kg
Kendall Yount; Female -63kg
Brieanna Hernandez; Female -68kg
Madelynn Gorman-Shore; Female +68kg
Julio Quintanilla; Male -45kg
Isaac Vigil; Male -48kg
David Kim; Male -51kg
Ken Jin; Male -55kg
Siwon Kim; Male -59kg
Alexandru Felea; Male -63kg
Joseph Rodriguez; Male -68kg
Connor Wilson; Male -73kg
Jonathan Healy; Male -78kg
Brandon Ivey; Male +78kg

Junior World Championships support staff
Head of Team Bruce Harris
Coach Patrice Remarck
Coach Sang Cha
Coach Sherman Nelson
Coach Arlene Limas
Trainer  Eui Lee
Trainer  Joseph Salim
Team Manager Patrick Wentland
Team Manager Stacy Andrews
Team Doctor Trish Bare Grounds
Team Doctor Maria Rosenberg

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