Kunihiro Places Fifth at KRA Korea World Cup

Dec. 04, 2009, 7:17 p.m. (ET)

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) - Aaron Kunihiro (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE) placed fifth on Friday at the KRA Korea World Cup in Suwon City.

Competing in the 60kg division, this is the second top-five finish at an A-Level tournament this year for the Senior Pan American medalist who was ranked as the #3 seed at the tournament.

Kunihiro had a first-round bye before defeating Aziz Tashmatov (UZB) in the quarter-finals.  Advancing to the medal rounds, Kunihiro lost to Chimedyunden Boldbaatar (MGL) in the semifinals.  

Kunihiro led his bronze medal match by a waza-ari (half-point) to Woo-Sun Kim's (KOR) yuko (quarter-point) when Kim caught Kunihiro with nine seconds left and threw him for ippon (instant win).

Kunihiro's Team FORCE and NYAC teammate Nick Delpopolo (Wakefield, Mass.) placed seventh in the 73kg division.  

Delpopolo started the day well, throwing Wenhua Pan (CHN) with a tai o toshi (body drop throw) for ippon a minute into his opening match after a first-round bye.

In the quarter-finals, Delpopolo lost by two penalties to Gui-Man Bang (KOR), the reigning Asian Champion who went on to win he gold medal. 

Delpopolo dropped down to the repechage where he lost by four penalties to eventual bronze medalist Hussein Hafiz (EGY).  

Three other U.S. athletes competed, but did not advance out of the early rounds.

Michael Eldred (Fruitland, Idaho / Western Idaho Judo Institute), a 2009 Pan Am medalist, was thrown for ippon by Young-Jun Lee (KOR) after a first-round bye in the 73kg division.  

Hana Carmichael (Wakefield, Mass. / USA Judo National Team FORCE), a 2009 U.S. Open bronze medalist, was pinned in the first round of the 57kg division by Terumi Kaneko (JPN) who went on to win the bronze medal.

Two-time Senior National Champion Janine Nakao (Wakefield, Mass. / USA Judo National Team FORCE) lost her first round match in the 63kg division to eventual bronze medalist Ji-Young Yoo (KOR).

Complete results are as follows:

Men's 60kg
1. Davaadorj Tumurkhuleg (MGL)
2. Chimedyunden Boldbaatar (MGL)
3. Jin-Min Jang (KOR)
3. Woo-Sun Kim (KOR)
5. Aaron Kunihiro (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE)
5. Sofiane Milous (FRA)
7. Sung-Min Heo (KOR)
7. Aziz Tashmatov (UZB)

Men's 66kg
1. Jun-Ho Cho (KOR)
2. Mirzohit Formonov (UZB)
3. Kohei Tanaka (JPN)
3. Jun-Hyun Cho (KOR)
5. Amin El Hady (EGY)
5. Loic Korval (FRA)
7. Ahmed Awad (EGY)
7. Enrico Parlati (ITA)

Men's 73kg
1. Gui-Man Bang (KOR)
2. Nicholas Tritton (CAN)
3. Hussein Hafiz (EGY)
3. Dong-Gyu Seo (KOR)
5. Giovanni Di Cristo (ITA)
5. Sainjargal Nyam-Ochir (MGL)
7. Nick Delpopolo (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE)
7. Young-Jun Lee (KOR)

Also Competed: Michael Eldred (Fruitland, Idaho / Western Idaho Judo Institute), 0-1

Women's 48kg
1. Kaori Kondo (JPN)
2. Hiromi Endo (JPN)
3. Mi-Ri Kim (KOR)
3. Seung-Min Shin (KOR)
5. Aurore Climence (FRA)
5. Munkhbat Urantsetseg (MGL)
7. Oiana Blanco (ESP)
7. Wanwisa Muenji (THA)

Women's 52kg
1. Bundmaa Munkbaatar (MGL)
2. Penelope Bonna (FRA)
3. Ana Carrascosa (ESP)
3. Kyung-Ok Kim (KOR)
5. Delphine Delsalle (FRA)
5. Nodoka Tanimoto (JPN)
7. Laura Gomez (ESP)
7. Chiho Kagaya (JPN)

Women's 57kg
1. Shizuka Maki (JPN)
2. Jan-Di Kim (KOR)
3. Caroline Lantoine (FRA)
3. Terumi Kaneko (JPN)
5. Conchi Bellorin (ESP)
5. Hyo-Ju Park (KOR)
7. Yingnan Ma (CHN)
7. Siu-Han Chiu (HKG)

Also Competed: Hana Carmichael (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE), 0-1

Women's 63kg
1. Da-Woon Joung (KOR)
2. Tsedevsuren Munkhzaya (MGL)
3. Kana Abe (JPN)
3. Ji-Young Yoo (KOR)
5. Ja-Young Kong (KOR)
5. Natsumi Baba (JPN)
7. Edwige Gwend (ITA)
7. Haruna Ota (JPN) 

Also Competed: Janine Nakao (Wakefield, Mass. / USA Judo National Team FORCE), 0-1