HAMMAMET, Tunisia (April 10, 2018) -- Some close matches and tough competition marked the second day of competition for Team USA at the 2018 World Taekwondo Junior Championships in Tunisia. Nicole Pelina (Northridge, Calif.) advanced the farthest of the four American fighters in action Tuesday, reaching the round of 16 in the female -46kg division.
Pelina opened with a point-gap victory over Libya's Nouralhuda Own, 26-4, to move into the round of 16. However, her day ended there with a 15-10 loss to Russia's Elizaveta Rozhina.
Elsewhere, Faith Dillon (Las Vegas, Nev.) started her day with an 18-4 win over Ukraine's Viktoriy Sobko in the female -49kg division, but then suffered a close 4-3 loss to Turkey's Elif Ilgin Oztabak.
In the male divisions, Garrett Batt of Virginia and Vincent Bui of California both lost their opening matches. Batt was defeated by Turkey's Kemel Kuluk (21-1) in the male -55kg division, while Bui lost on a golden point to Jordan's Bahaedden Al Jamal in the male -51kg class.
The World Junior Championships continue Wednesday with four more Americans in action. Julian KB Kim of Virginia will fight in the male -59kg division, Khalfani Harris of Florida competes in the male -63kg class, Anastasija Zolotic of Florida is in action in the female -52kg division, and Naomi Bennett from Minnesota fights in the female -55kg class.
The World Taekwondo Junior Championships run through Friday.
Wednesday, April 11
Julian KB Kim (Va.) - Male -59kg
Khalfani Harris (Fla.) - Male -63kg
Anastasija Zolotic (Fla.) - Female -52kg
Naomi Bennett (Minn.) - Female -55kg
Thursday, April 12
CJ Nickolas (Calif.) - Male -68kg
Zak Day (Littleton, Colo.) - Male -73kg
Aliyah Shipman (Fla.) - Female -59kg
Julie Zlochevskiy (Minn.) - Female -63kg
Friday, April 13
Evan Gray (Atlanta, Ga.) - Male -78kg
Vlado Duvnjak (Minn.) - Male +78kg
Alena Viana (Nev.) - Female -68kg
Mason Porch (N.M.) - Female +68kg
The team is being coached by Gergely Salim, Dennis White, Dennis Kim and Eui Lee.
Follow USA Taekwondo's website (www.usa-taekwondo.us) and social media pages for updates throughout the week.