JUDO: Travis Stevens and Nick Delpopolo Win Silver Medals at the New York Open Seven months after the Olympic Games in Beijing, Travis Stevens found himself facing 2008 Olympic Champion Ole Bischof (GER) for the second time when he advanced to the 81kg finals.
Colorado Springs, Colo.) Ė Seven months after the Olympic Games in Beijing, Travis Stevens (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE) found himself facing 2008 Olympic Champion Ole Bischof (GER) for the second time when he advanced to the 81kg finals of the New York Open on Sunday in New York City.
Stevens and Bischof fought a close match in Beijing with Stevens losing by a pair of penalties in the third-round match. Bischof, a former European Champion, would go on to win the gold while Stevens showed the world he was a player to watch with a ninth-place finish in his Olympic debut.
Bischof and Stevens met again in front of a home crowd for Stevens at the New York Open. This time both players kept up a fast pace for the five-minute regulation period before sending the match to Golden Score (sudden death overtime) where Stevens went in for a firemanís carry and was countered by Bischof for a yuko (quarter-point score) that ended the match and gave Stevens a silver medal in his first New York Open. In its twenty-sixth year, the Open is a USA Judo Senior C-Level point tournament for U.S. players and a B-Level tournament for international players.
Twenty-year-old Nick Delpopolo (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE) won his first major senior medal at the New York Open when he placed third at the 2006 event. Now an experienced senior player, Delpopolo was poised to win his first major international gold medal in the 73kg division when he led his final match against former World medalist Krzysztof Wilkomirski (POL).
Up by a throw for a waza-ari (half-point) score, Delpopolo was given his third penalty of the match with seven seconds on the clock that tied the score at a waza-ari each.
In Golden Score, Delpopolo went in for a drop seoi nage (dropping shoulder throw) but Wilkomirski took him to the ground where he choked Delpopolo out for the win.
In his first competition since the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Judo, 2007 Pan Am medalist Garry St. Leger (Brooklyn, N.Y. / Legrosports Starrett) won a bronze medal in the 90kg division where he controlled his match against Wiktor Tworzydio (POL) who he threw first for a waza-ari and then for ippon.
Olympian Daniel McCormick (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE) also fought for a medal, but lost to 2008 Belgium Open bronze medalist Cedric Medeuf (FRA).
Most Valuable Player of the Tournament honors were awarded at the end of the day to Bjorn Bachmann (GER) who won gold in the 100kg division.
For the first time, a womenís team match was held between the United States and Japan which was won by the Japanese team.
Special awards were given to James Bregman who received the Lifetime Achievement Award and Team Japan who received the Appreciation Award.