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May 09 JUDO: Team USA Wins Three Medals, Gotay to Fight for Gold at Pan Am Championships Tonight in Miami

May 09, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
For Immediate Release May 9, 2008 Contact: Nicole Jomantas, 719.271.9937 (cell) Nicole.Jomantas@usajudo.us (Miami, Fla.)-Valerie Gotay (Harlingen, Texas / USA Judo National Training Site at Harlingen) will fight for gold tonight in the 57kg division at the Pan American Championships. Competition begins at 6 p.m. at the James L. Knight Center and will include only gold medal matches as bronze medals were awarded in the afternoon. After a first-round bye, Gotay threw Candida Ramirez (GUA) for ippon (instant win) for ippon in her first match. In the semifinal, Gotay and 2001 World Champion Yurisleidys Lupetey (CUB) two penalties each when Lupetey threw Gotay for a yuko (quarter-point) score to take the lead. As the match wore down, though, Lupetey was given another penalty which, in turn, gave Gotay a lead by a waza-ari (half-point). Gotay will fight two-time Pan Am medalist Yadinys Amaris (COL) in the final. In the 44kg division, 16-year-old Taylor Ibera (Honolulu, Hawaii / Hawaii Tenri) won her round robin division with two victories over Shirley Guerrero (COL). Taraje Williams-Murray (Bronx, N.Y. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE) threw his first opponent Ivan Bell (AHO) early in his first 60kg match to advance to his next round against Yosmani Piker (CUB). After Williams-Murray got off five consecutive attacks, Piker was penalized for stalling; however Williams-Murray was given a penalty as well midway through the match."I knew I had to pick it up after the penalty,"Williams-Murray said. He continued to attack and soon threw Piker for ippon (instant win) with a fireman's carry."Overall it was a great day. I felt good and didn't have much weight to cut,"Williams-Murray said."The match with Cuba was my most important, but I just wanted to focus on being relaxed."In the semifinal, he lost by ippon to Javier Guedez (VEN), but dropped down to the bronze medal match where he threw Jose Romero (ECU) for ippon. The win moves Williams-Murray into the top six in his division with only the Zone Cup on Sunday left to finalize the qualification for the United States to compete in the 60kg division at the Olympic Games in Beijing. Daniel McCormick (Wakefield, Mass. / USA Judo National Team FORCE) competed in the Open division, losing to Oscar Brayson (CUB) who won a silver medal in the +100kg division on Thursday, but coming back to throw Miguel Soto (VEN) for ippon in the bronze medal match. Taylor Takata (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center) placed fifth in the 66kg division. After a first round loss in overtime to Roberto Ibanez (ECU), Takata defeated Jaime Matta (ARU) and Laureano Martin (ARG) to advance to the bronze medal round. Takata and Juan Jacinto (DOM) fought to overtime, but Takata lost the match on a gripping penalty. Ryan Reser (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training site at the Olympic Training Center / 73kg) had a first-round bye and then won his next match against Jean Choy (PER). In the quarter-finals, Reser was given two penalties against Ludwig Ortiz (VEN) and lost the match. He returned to form in the repchage where he won his next two matches in less than a minute. Reser withdrew from his bronze medal match againt Nick Tritton (CAN) and placed fifth. Melinda Swanson (Honolulu, Hawaii / Hawaii Tenri) placed fifth in a round robin open weight division after throwing Priscilla Marques (BRA) in the first round. Sayaka Matsumoto (El Cerrito, Calif. / NYAC / East Bay judo Institute / 48kg) threw Evelin Rodriguez (GUA) in the opening seconds of her first round match. In the quarter-finals, Matsumoto was down by a penalty against Glenda Miranda (ECU) when Miranda threw her for ippon. In the repechage, Matsumoto pinned Edna Carrillo (MEX), but lost the bronze to Paula Parreto (ARG) who threw Matsumoto and then pinned her for a waza-ari (half-point score). Fifteen-year-old Keith Beauvais (Thornton, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center) competed in his first Pan Ams in the 55kg division, but lost both of his matches to Julien Paradis (CAN) and Martin Bustamante (ARG). Anna Palmer (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center) competed in her first Pan Ams in the 52kg division, but she lost in the first round to former 57kg player Yagnelys Mestre (CUB) who threw her for a yuko score and later armbarred Palmer for ippon. Palmer withdrew with an injury from the repechage. Medal winners and gold medal match-ups are as follows: Men's 55kg Gold: Julien Paradis vs. Hiram Cruz 3. Martin Bustamante (ARG) 3. Jeffryd Garcia (NCA) 5. Roberto Paz (ESA) 5. Carlos Tenesaca (ECU) Men's 60kg Gold: Javier Guedez (VEN) vs. Miguel Albarracin (ARG) 3. Piker Yosmani (CUB) 3. Taraje Williams-Murray (Bronx, N.Y. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE) 5. Kenny Godoy (HON) 5. Jose Romero (ECU) Men's 66kg Gold: Yordanis Arencibia (CUB) vs. Roberto Ibanez (ECU) 3. Sasha Mehmedovic (CAN) 3. Juan Jacinto (DOM) 5. Ronnie Talledo (PER) 5. Taylor Takata (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center) Men's 73kg Gold: Victor Penalber (BRA) vs. Ludwig Ortiz (VEN) 3. Ronald Girones (CUB) 3. Nicholas Tritton (CAN) 5. Josue Deprez (HAI) 5. Ryan Reser (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center) Men's Open Gold: Walter Santos (BRA) vs Oscar Brayson (CUB) 3. Pablo Figueroa (PER) 3. Daniel McCormick (Wakefield, Mass. / USA Judo National Team FORCE) 5. Guillermo Del Rio (MEX) 5. Miguel Soto (VEN) Women's 44kg 1. Taylor Ibera (Honolulu, Hawaii / Hawaii Tenri)Yadinys 2. Shirley Guerrero (COL) Women's 48kg Gold: Yanet Bermoy (CUB) vs. Daniela Polzin (BRA) 3. Paula Paretto (ARG) 3. Glenda Miranda (ECU) 5. Sayaka Matsumoto (El Cerrito, Calif. / NYAC / East Bay Judo Institute) 5. Isabel Latulippe (CAN) Women's 52kg Gold: Erica Miranda (BRA) vs. Flor Velazquez (VEN) 3. Maria Garcia (DOM) 3. Aminata Sall (CAN) 5. Tatiana Lucumi (COL) 5. Yagnelys Mestre (CUB) Women's 57kg Gold: Yadinys Amaris (COL) vs. Valerie Gotay (Harlingen, Texas / USA Judo National Training Site at Harlingen) 3. Yurisleidys Lupetey (CUB) 3. Ketleyn Quadros (BRA) 5. Diana Villavicencio (ECU) 5. Ange Jean Baptiste (HAI) Women's Open 1. Melissa Mojica (PUR) 2. Priscilla Marques (BRA) 3. Carmen Chala (ECU) 3. Mavi Mendoza (MEX) 5. Mindy Swanson (Honolulu, Hawaii / Hawaii Tenri) For more information, contact Nicole Jomantas, USA Judo Director of Communications and Media Relations, at 719.271.9937 (cell) or Nicole.Jomantas@usajudo.us -END-
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