March 2012 edition of the NYAC Judo Club Newsletter

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Kayla Harrison Defeats World #1, Takes Silver

At Paris Grand Slam

February 5, 2012 - Team USA's Kayla Harrison, favored to capture gold at the Olympics in London this summer, defeated Japan's world-ranked No. 1 player ot take the silver medal at one 

of the planet's toughest tournaments today.

"It was a huge win for Kayla's confidence heading into the 

Olympics, because she now knows she can beat every top girl in the world in her division," said Jimmy Pedro, head coach of the Olympic Judo Team.

"Today Kayla decisively beat Japan's Akari Ogata... dominating the entire fight and winning by three yukos and a wazari. Kayla controlled the entire fight and was never in any danger," Pedro said. "In fact, I believe Kayla broke the Japanese girl's spirit about half way through the match because she stayed aggressive throughout the fight despite being so far ahead."

Harrison, 78 kg (NYAC/Team FORCE, Wakefield, Mass.), who was named fighter of the day along with Germany's Ole Bischof, added her silver to the bronze won yesterday by Team USA's Marti Malloy, 57 kg (USA Judo National Training Center, San Jose State University, CA). This is the first time the United States has taken two medals at the same Grand Slam in Paris, a premier tournament in one of the strongest judo nations on earth. Added to that, Nick Delpopolo, 73 kg (NYAC/Jason Morris Judo Center, Scotia, NY) won two matches to place fifth before losing to the eventual gold medalist in the division, Nyam-Ochir Sainjargal of Mongolia.

Kayla started the day strong, throwing Kazakhstan's Galiya Ulmentayeva for yuko with harai makikomi, then pinning her ippon.

In the second round she defeated her Canadian rival Amy Cotton, throwing her with another harai makikomi for yuko, and then for ippon with a Sumi Gaeshi in the first 90 seconds of the match.

In the quarterfinal, Kayla beat Stephanie Possamai of France. Possamai made a sacrifice attack that Kayla converted to a pin, yoko shiho gatame, for ippon and victory.

That put Kayla in the semi-finals where she defeated Japan's Ogata, No. 1 in the world, who recently beat Kayla for gold at the Tokyo Grand Slam in Japan.

In the final, Kayla faced her nemesis, Brazil's Mayra Aguiar, keeping the heat on her opponent from beginning to end. Kayla was "the better and more dominant player," Pedro said. "She just did not get the win."

During the first minute of the match, Kayla launched the Brazilian sky high and threw her on her head. Twice Kayla knocked down the Brazilian and was awarded yukos that were waived off. Kayla was up by 1 shido with 30 seconds to go when the Brazilian caught Kayla with a Sumi Gaeshi for a yuko. "In the end, Aguiar just did enough to avoid a match tying penalty," said Pedro.

"It was a terrific event for Kayla," Pedro said. "She looked explosive, dynamic, and strong all day. She clearly has established herself as a favorite for gold in London."

"The staff and I could not be prouder of the way our future Olympic team competed here in Paris," Pedro said. "Hopefully this is a sign of great things to come in London."

Kayla Bringing Home Another Gold

February 12, 2012 - Team USA's Kayla Harrison swept through the brackets today to take gold at the World Cup Budapest.

Harrison, 78kg (NYAC/Team FORCE, Wakefield, Mass) won five matches to take the top spot on the podium. "I'm pleased with my results today, considering I am not at top level right now."

Harrison said she was particularly happy with her performance in the semi-finals against Japan's Tomomi Okamura. "I fought back and never gave up. I didn't allow myself to get frustrated which is something I've been working on controlling for quite some time. I feel as if I've made a lot of progress already in this European tour. I'm looking forward to the last leg in Germany."

Harrison faced a young lefty currently ranked number 1 in Britain in the first match, Natalie Powell. "I was able to catch her for ippon with ogoshi in the first minute."

In her second match, the clock went the full distance with Harrison forcing two penalties to win with smart gripping before catching Jie Zhang of China with ko-uchi for yuko.

That put Harrison in the quarterfinals against Poland's Katarzyna Furmanek. Harrison said she capitalized on a bad attack in newaza, choking her for ippon in 29 seconds.

In the semi-finals against Japan's Okamura, Harrison was caught for wazari in the first minute and then "had to fight like hell to get it back," she said. Harrison ended up throwing Okamura with ogoshi for wazari and then ko uchi for yuko to seal the match.

Harrison stepped into another tough match in the finals against Russian Vera Moskulyuk. "She's a very tall righty" and it was an awkward fight, Harrison said. She eventually caught her with ouchi gare for yuko and held the lead by outgripping Moskulyuk to win the tournament.

To see all results and rosters of the weekend, go to IPPON.ORG

- story by Ernest Pund

Team USA’s Kayla Harrison Takes Gold, Makes History Dusseldorf Grand Prix

February 19, 2012 – Team USA‟s Kayla Harrison today made history as the first U.S. woman to win the Dusseldorf Grand Prix (formerly the German Open), joining only fellow Team FORCE member Travis Stevens and their coach, Jimmy Pedro, in claiming that spot for the United States.

Harrison along with other U.S. teammates have been on a European tour the last several weeks and Kayla adds this gold to a gold she won just last week at a World Cup in Budapest.

“Today was a very tough day psychologically for Kayla who was very tired from being in Europe for so long,” said her coach, Pedro. “Despite that, she stepped up and won all of her matches by ippon up until the final.”

A key goal for Kayla in fighting at this tournament today was to face Heidi Wollert of Germany who Kayla has never fought. Kayla threw Wollert for ippon with ippon seionage in the semi-finals.

And in the final round, Kayla won an extremely hard fought golden score battle against the 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist to take the top spot on the podium today at the ultra-

competitive Dusseldorf Grand Prix.

Harrison was awarded the victory on „flags‟ by the referees after neither fighter scored 

during the regular five-minute match or the three minutes of golden-score overtime – In golden score, any point wins a match.

"We came here to fight Wollert and get tough matches to prepare for the Olympics,” Harrison said. “I feel as if that goal has definitely been accomplished! I am EXHAUSTED. But I know that this will all have been worth it come August 2nd."

Nick Delpopolo, another strong contender for Team USA at the Olympics next year, fought hard to win three matches and a fifth place yesterday.

“Nick Delpopolo looked very strong all day,” said Pedro. In the first round Delpopolo got caught for wazari with drop seionage by Mongolian Odbayar Ganbaatar but then “came back and countered the Mongolian kosoto gare to tie it up. Then with 30 seconds to go, he caught the Mongolian with drop taio for yuko.”

In the second round, Delpopolo beat his Canadian nemesis Nick Tritton, throwing him for ippon with uchimata with just two seconds left in a dead-even match.

Then Delpopolo faced world #2-ranked Ki-Chun Wang from Korea. In a tough back-and- forth match where both players almost scored numerous times, the Korean caught Nick with tomoe nage for yuko with one minute left. “Nick just couldn't find a way to get the yuko back,” Pedro said. "Nick really fought well today and looked good all day. He's just one match away from getting over the hump and beating a world top-ten in the quarters to get into the money at these major events," Pedro said. “He should be proud of his performance today."

- Story by Ernest Pund

Results of the Super Bowl Invitational Judo Tournament

Men‟s 73kg

Patryk Obiedzinski – 1st 

Wojciech Szulinsk – 3rd

8th Annual New Rochelle Open Judo Championships

Date: Sunday March 11, 2012

Place: San Yama Bushi Judo School

612 Main St. New Rochelle, NY 10801 

Tournament Director: Hector Negron tel: 914- 633-1701

Ocean State International 2012

Competition Date: March 17, 2012 

Tournament Site: Coventry High School, 40 Reservoir road, Coventry, R.I. 02816 

Director: Serge Bouyssou Registration: Serge Bouyssou (401) 647-4678 

John Greco (401) 580-0603

2012 New Jersey State Sr & Jr Judo Championship

Date: Sunday, March 18, 2012 Location: Princeton YWCA

59 Paul Robeson Place

Princeton, NJ 08540 Contact: Cory Cuomo 13. W. Zoller Rd. East Brunswick, NJ 08816 (p) 732-406-3646

The Twenty- Fifth Annual Liberty Bell Judo Classic

Date: Saturday March 31, 2012 – Juniors & Youth

Sunday April 1, 2012 – Seniors Location: Asplundh Field House Academy of New Church

2775 Buck Road, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

Tournament Directors: Louis Moyerman Home (215) 698-1289 fax Cell (215) 313-2098 EmailLMoyerman Joseph Condello Home (610) 924-0218 (for info only - NO FAX or NO EMAIL Entries will be accepted)

2012 Garden State Judo Classic

Date: April 15, 2012 

Location: Boys & Girls Club Of Wayne 153 Garside Avenue Wayne, NJ 07470-2414

(973) 956-0033 (201) 206-2705 cell Ramon Hernandez) Email:

2012 USA JUDO Senior National Championships

Date: April 21-22, 2012 Location: The Dallas Marriott Los Colinas

223 West Las Colinas Blvd.

Irving, TX 75039 Contact the National Office for all registration questions at 719.866.4730

2012 West Point Senior Invitational

Date: April 28, 2012 

Location: Arvin Cadet Physical Development Center United States Military Academy, West Point NY

Directors: LTC Hector R. Morales, 845-938-6648,

2012 Morris Cup

Date: Saturday, June 2, 2012 

Location: Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School

88 Lake Hill Rd., Burnt Hills, NY 12027 

Tournament Directors: Jason Morris and Teri Takemori or (518)399-3936 Cell (518)330-7270

About the author


Founded in 1868, the New York Athletic Club can boast of a unique history. The Club's founding premise was to bring structure to a sporting environment that was lacking in organization and uniformity of measurement. Quickly, the NYAC organized the first US championships in boxing, wrestling and outdoor track and…

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