Oct. 20, 2009, 6:08 p.m. (ET)

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) - Featuring six veterans of past World Teams, Team USA arrived in Paris on Tuesday to compete at the Junior World Championships which begin on Thursday and conclude on Sunday.  

Kayla Harrison (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE) became just the third U.S. player in history to win the Junior Worlds when she took home the gold medal in the 78kg division last year.  

This year the three-time Senior National Champion will defend her title in the 78kg division with the hopes of becoming the first U.S. player ever to win two Junior World Championships.

"Everyone always thinks it's great to come in as the World Champion, but you know, it's bittersweet at the same time," Harrison said.  "It wields a little more pressure and sometimes it would be good to come in as the underdog, but I'm just going to go out there and do what I do best."

Two of the 2008 Junior World medalists in Harrison's division are expected to return this year, including Audrey Tcheumeo (FRA), who Harrison defeated in the final, and Ruika Sato (JPN), the bronze medalist who Harrison beat in the semifinals.

With the medalists from the 2008 Junior Worlds being the only seeded players in the tournament, Harrison should be on the opposite side of the draw of Tcheumeo and Sato.

"It could be me and Audrey, the French girl, in the finals again this year and I'll be fighting her in Paris, so it's gonna be interesting," Harrison said.

Competing in her second Junior World Championships, Jeanette Rodriguez (Davie, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami) placed fifth at the 2006 Junior Worlds as a 16-year-old 48kg player.  Now Rodriguez has moved up to the 52kg division where she will test her skills against an entirely new crop of players.

Fifteen-year-old Katelyn Bouyssou (Hope, R.I. / NYAC / Mayo Quanchi Judo Club) will be competing at the Junior Worlds for the first time this year, but the Scituate High School sophomore is no stranger to international competition having competed at the Senior World Championships and placing fifth at the Cadet (U17) Worlds in August in the 48kg division.

Kyle Vashkulat (Glenville, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center) will be competing for the second year as a 100kg player.  Since 2008, Vashkulat has gained a wealth of experience having competed at the Senior Pan American Championships and placing second at the Senior Nationals.  On Saturday, Vashkulat travelled to Montreal where he upset four-time World Cup medalist Scott Edward (CAN) en route to winning his first major senior international title in the division.

Sixteen-year-old Helen Delpopolo (Westfield, N.J.) will be competing at her second Junior Worlds in the 70kg division.  A silver medalist at the Senior Nationals in April, Delpopolo fought up to 78kg in June where she won the Pan American Junior Championships.

Colin Robinson (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center / Boulder Judo Training Center) also is a veteran of the 2008 Junior World Championships as a +100kg player who placed second at the Pan Am Juniors this summer.  

Competition schedule is as follows:

Thursday, Oct. 22

Men's 55kg and 60kg

Women's 44kg and 48kg

Friday, Oct. 23

Men's 66kg and 73kg

Women's 52kg and 57kg

Saturday, Oct. 24

Men's 81kg and 90kg

Women's 63kg and 70kg

Sunday, Oct. 25

Men's 100kg and +100kg

Women's 78kg and +78kg

The team will be led by Coach Serge Bouyssou (Hope, R.I.)  The father of 48kg player Katelyn Bouyssou, Serge is a former Pan American Infantile Championship Team Coach and a two-time USA Judo Coach of the Year.

The complete roster of athletes is as follows:

Men

55kg

Corwin Learned (El Granada, Calif. / Cahill's Judo Academy), 2008 Senior Nationals bronze medalist

60kg

Arnold Toriumi (Honolulu, Hawaii / Hawaii Tenri), 2008 Fall Classic Nationals silver medalist

66kg

Kyle Taketa (Torrance, Calif. / Gardena Judo), 2007 Senior Pan Am bronze medalist

73kg

Andrew Porras (Hialeah, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami), 2009 U.S. Open bronze medalist and 2009 Pan Am Junior silver medalist

81kg

Colton Brown (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose state University), 2009 Senior Nationals bronze medalist

90kg

Tony Sangimino (Glenville, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center), two-time Pan Am Juvenile silver medalist

100kg

Kyle Vashkulat (Glenville, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center), 2009 Senior Pan Am Team member and 2009 Senior Nationals silver medalist

+100kg

Colin Robinson (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center / Boulder Judo Training Center), 2009 Pan American Junior silver medalist

Women

44kg

Veronica Prado (Coral Springs, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami), 2006 Senior Pan Am Team member and 2009 Senior National Champion

48kg

Katelyn Bouyssou (Hope, R.I. / NYAC / Mayo Quanchi Judo Club), 2009 Senior National Champion and 2009 U.S. Open Champion

52kg

Jeanette Rodriguez (Davie, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami), 2007 Pan American Games medalist and 2009 U.S. Open Champion

57kg

Angelica Delgado (Miami, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami), 2009 Senior Pan Am Team member and 2009 U.S. Open silver medalist

63kg

Jillian Roman (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center / Boulder Judo Training Center), 2009 Pan Am Junior Champion

70kg

Helen Delpopolo (Westfield, N.J.), 2009 Senior Nationals silver medalist

78kg

Kayla Harrison (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE), three-time Senior National Champion and 2009 Belo Horizonte World Cup bronze medalist

+78kg

Kaitlyn McKim (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center / Boulder Judo Training Center), 2009 U.S. Open bronze medalist