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Delpopolo Wins Bronze in Pan American Championships
April 8, 2011
Article Attributed To: Facebook Nick Delpopolo fan site
Guadalajara, Mexico 22 year old Nick Delpopolo travelled to Mexico to compete in his first PanAm Championships. Leading toward the Olympic Games the PanAms is extremely important as huge points can be gained by the medalists. Nick started his day strong defeating Otto Menegazzo (GUA) and Cristian Bivieca Morel (DOM) putting him in the Semi-finals with World Cup Champion Bruno Mendonca of Brazil. Delpopolo had won their last meeting after throwing the Brazilian for ippon in the first round of the 2010 Panama Pan Am cup. Mendonca turned the tables on Delpopolo catching him for ippon with Koshi-garuma at the 1 minute mark. The semi-final loss dropped Delpopolo to the bronze medal match with Derian Castro (COL). Nick destroyed the columbian by throwing him for a yuko (quarter point) and again for ippon (full point, instant win) before 2 minutes had elapsed. Securing the bronze medal earned valuable world ranking points for Nick who is looking to get inside the top 10 by years end.
Nick was also entered in the PanAm Team tournament where he along with his US teammates advanced to the gold medal match with wins over teams from Guatemala, Venezuela and Columbia. En route to the final, Nick won all of his matches by ippon including defeating last years PanAm silver medalist Antonio Rivas (VEN). The US Men lost the final to Brazil and a frustrated Nick dropped another match to the Brazilian Mendonca after being up by a yuko (quarter point).
At the conclusion of the event Nick commented "I'm not going to lie, even though this was my first PanAms, I'm really disappointed with only taking the bronze and I'm going to work hard to ensure that doesn't happen again."
Next up for Delpopolo is a 2 week training camp in Russia with teammate, 2008 Olympian, Travis Stevens. Stevens and Delpopolo received a special invitation to train with the Russian National Team at this closed camp. After training in Russia both men will then travel to Italy where they will meet up with Coach [Jimmy Pedro] for another week long camp.
Delpopolo on the awards podium at the 2011 Pan American Championships