Paige McPherson (Sturgis, S.D.) advanced to the round of 16 on Friday's opening day of the 2018 Rome Grand Prix before losing a one-point match that bounced her from the competition.
McPherson, the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist and reigning world silver medalist, defeated Chinese Taipei's Yann Yeu Chen, 6-4, in her opening match of the female -67kg division. In her next match, she fell behind 3-0 to Korea's Jan-Di Kim after the opening round but fought back to draw within a point at 5-4 through two rounds. Kim opened up a 9-5 lead in the final round before McPherson rallied but fell a point shy at 9-8.
In the male +80kg division, 2016 Olympian Stephen Lambdin (Colleyville, Texas) also lost a close contest, dropping a 7-6 decision to Kazakhstan's Ruslan Zhaparov in his opening match. Teammate Jonathan Healy (Spring, Texas) lost his first-round match as well, 10-7, to Uzbekistan's Jasur Baykuziyev.
Competition continues on Saturday with the male -58kg and female -57kg and +67kg divisions. In action for the U.S. will be Aziza Chambers (Springfield, Ohio) in the female -57kg class, and Madelynn Gorman-Shore (Littleton, Colo.) and Sanaz Shahbazi (Colorado Springs, Colo.) in the female +67kg bracket.
See the Day 2 draws below (click on brackets to download full draw).