Viana's Silver Makes It Three Medals In Three Days For Team USA

April 13, 2018, 10:55 a.m. (ET)

HAMMAMET, Tunisia (April 13, 2018) -- A slow start to the week was offset by a strong finish as Team USA captured three medals over the final three days of the 2018 World Taekwondo Junior Championships in Tunisia. It was the highest medal count for the U.S. at a Junior World Championships since 2012 when the team won a silver and two bronze. This year's team finishes with a gold and two silver after Alena Viana (Las Vegas, Nev.) won the silver medal in the female -68kg division on Friday's final day of competition.

Viana advanced to the medal round with wins over Egypt's Habiba Morsy (20-8) and Poland's Eliza Zbrzezna (5-2). Then her 6-4 defeat of Russia's Valeriia Mokeeva in the semis set her up for a shot at gold against France's Althea Laurin. In the final, Viana fell behind 9-1 after two rounds and couldn't make up the difference in dropping a 20-4 decision to win the silver medal.

Viana joins gold medalist Anastasija Zolotic (Largo, Fla.) and silver medalist CJ Nickolas (Brentwood, Calif.) on the podium for Team USA.

In other action on Friday, Vlado Duvnjak of Minnesota reached the quarterfinals of the male +78kg division with wins over Belarus' Valery Kuryla (15-13) and Afghanistan's Nisar Ahmad Abdul Rahimzai (14-8), but then lost to Brazil's Patrik Pereira Cardoso (9-2).

In the female +68kg competition, Mason Porch from New Mexico defeated India's Pravalika Vivekanand Kustagi by point gap, 20-0, but then lost in the round of 16 to Turkey's Dilara Arslan, 9-6. In the male -78kg division, Evan Gray (Atlanta, Ga.) lost his opening match to Lebanon's Josef Farah, 16-14.

“It’s been an amazing week here in Africa, and an honor and a privilege to be a part of such a wonderful team," said USA Taekwondo High Performance Director May Spence. "These young athletes are a true credit to the United States, on and off the mat. We’ve also had an incredible support team of coaches and staff here who deserve huge thanks for making sure those athletes could perform to their maximum each and every time. From qualifying our full quota in the Youth Olympic Games to an impressive three medal haul in the Worlds it’s been a more than satisfying trip. The future is bright – we have no doubt that more than one future Olympian will come from this group, and our plans to dominate in ’28 are already beginning to take shape. The U.S. is on its way back to the top at last – remember some of the names you heard here as you will be hearing a lot more about them in years to come!”