By Paul D. Bowker | Sept. 21, 2018, 12:01 a.m. (ET)
Nicholas Delpopolo at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 on Aug. 8, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.

 

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2016 Olympians Nick Delpopolo, Colton Brown and Angelica Delgado are among the 18 U.S. athletes going after a podium finish at the World Judo Championships.

The U.S. is looking for its first medal since 2014, when two-time Olympic champion Kayla Harrison won a bronze medal. Delgado, who is ranked 11th in the world in the women’s 52-kilogram weight class and won a bronze medal in the Zagreb Grand Prix, is among the podium contenders. She won’t have to wait long. Competition in her weight class is Friday.

The world championships, which began Thursday in Baku, Azerbaijan, go through Sept. 27.

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2014 Youth Olympian Adonis Diaz, a rising men’s star, won a silver medal in August in the Zagreb Grand Prix, and bronze medals earlier this year in the Panamerican Senior Championships and Antalya Grand Prix.

Other top men’s contenders include Brown, who also won a bronze medal at the Panamerican Senior Championships and competed at last year’s world championships.

Top women include Hannah Martin, who finished seventh in the Madrid European Open, and 2010 Youth Olympian Katelyn Bouyssou, who is back in the world championships for the second consecutive year.

Paul D. Bowker is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc