Juniors take gold around the globe

By Ernest Pund | Jan. 02, 2013, 1:07 a.m. (ET)

Two young sibling U.S. judo fighters, George and Annie Truong, took gold and silver medals respectively at the super competitive Flanders Cup, an annual tournament in Belgium for top juniors mostly from Europe.  With such a victory, they stepped into the spotlight.

Both George, 18, and Annie, 16, hail from the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO. George fought in the under 20-year-old division and Annie fought in U-17. George Truong went 7 - 0 to take first place in the 66 kg brackets that included 28 of Europe’s top juniors.

These bright young stars were not alone in the sky. Lots of junior U.S. athletes climbed podiums around the world in 2012. Nearly 30 hot young U.S. athletes collected nine gold medals among nearly 40 at the back-to-back Infantil Pan American Championships and Benito Juarez International Championships in Mexico City in late November.

Back in Europe, another junior team picked up a chest of hardware, including a gold medal won by Gabrielle Proksa of Granite State Judo Institute in New Hampshire, at an annual international tourney in Harnes, France. Another set of junior siblings, Kyle and Chantal Wright, U.S. citizens who live in Switzerland, picked up a gold and silver respectively in Lanester on the same tour de force of France.

By Ernest Pund, USA Judo Communications