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Team FORCE Judo Squad Gives Strong Showing In Paris

February 5, 2011
Article Attributed To: Free Press Release


Nick Delpopolo takes fifth place, reigning world champion Kayla Harrison fights Sunday

PARIS, FRANCE – Representing the United States, members of Team FORCE Judo, based in Wakefield, Mass., came out fighting at the Grand Slam Paris tournament. The event is recognized as one of the largest and toughest judo tournaments on the international circuit.

Nick Delpopolo, fighting in the 73 kg weight division, finished with fifth place Saturday. He entered the tournament ranked 16th in the world in his category and had to compete against 44 other world-class judo athletes.

He earned a bye past the first round and defeated Andre Alves of Portugal by a yuko score in overtime in his second-round match. He scored by countering an attempted forward throw by Alves.

Next, Delpopolo downed Nyam Ochir Sanjargal of Mongolia. Sanjargal is ranked 12th in the world. In the match that went to the time limit, the Mongolian lost on penalties.

In the quarter-final match, Delpopolo faced fifth-ranked Yasuhiro Awano. The contest was hard-fought, with Delpopolo being thrown with a shoulder throw in overtime.

The fifth-place finish keeps Delpopolo in a strong position to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games.

“Fifth place is good, but my last match was winnable,” Delpopolo said after the tournament. “So I’m a combination of happy and disappointed.”

In other Team FORCE results, Janine Nakao lost to Fary Seye of Senegal in the opening round of the 63 kg women’s division. In the men’s 66 kg division, Aaron Kunihiro lost to Andrejs Magers of Latvia.

On Sunday, Team FORCE members Travis Stevens, who is ranked 16th in the world, and reigning world judo champion Kayla Harrison, will compete in Paris. Their teammate Bobby Lee also fights on Sunday.


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