USA Judo Returning Home With Gold Silver and Bronze From Pan American Open in San Salvador

By Ernest Pund | June 24, 2013, 12:44 a.m. (ET)

June 23, 2013 –  Samantha Bleier, 78 kg. (USA Judo Training Site, Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, CO) took a gold medal today with an arm bar and osoto gari for a pair of ippons at the Pan American Open in San Salvador.

This was the second day of the tournament, with Colton Brown, 90 kg. (USA Judo Training Site, San Jose State Judo, San Jose, CA), and Jonathan Fernandez, 81 kg. (Baragua Judo Kai, Miami, FL), each adding silver medals to Bleier’s gold. Olympian Kyle Vashkulat, 100 kg (Jason Morris Judo/NYAC, Glenville, NY), took a bronze. These winnings came on top of the silver and three bronze medals that USA Judo’s team took yesterday for a total of eight at the Pan American Open.

“I knew I could do it because I’d beaten the Ecuadorian before,” Bleier said. “The Venezuelan has beaten me before, but I knew I could beat her, that I had the skills to beat her. It was just about coming out ready for it, mentally ready. I just had to play smart.”

Bleier finished Ecuador’s Diana Chala with an arm bar for the tap and Venezuela’s Keivi Pinto in the final with a huge osoto for her second ippon.

This was the second time in less than a week that Colton Brown has been on the podium, taking a bronze at the Grand Prix Miami last weekend. He again defeated Great Britain’s Matthew Purssey to take the medal. Teammate Fernandez, who also took a silver today, finished with a 5th place in Miami.

For complete results, go to IPPON.ORG.