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NEW: Mass Judo Coach Watches Protege Fall Short in Semifinals

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Coach Pedro's student Travis Stevens just misses the podium, but gold medal hopes still remain.

It was a bittersweet moment for coach Jimmy Pedro and the USA judo team, as eight-seed Travis Stevens fell just short of earning a bronze medal in the -81kg division. The two-time bronze medalist and Danvers, Massachusetts native watched from the sidelines as Stevens, one of his top students, lost by judges' choice in a tied semi-final contest against Germany's Ole Bischof. Stevens had performed heroically leading up to the semifinals, defeating overall top-ranked Leandro Guilheiro of Brazil the match before.

First-ever gold still within reach

Judo historically has not been a strong event for the United States in the Olympics, but head coach Jimmy Pedro is confident about the team’s chances. Marti Malloy captured America’s first judo medal of the games yesterday, taking home the bronze in the Women's -57kg division. Kayla Harrison, another student of Pedro's

and a previous world champion, competes on Thursday. Harrison is considered by many to be the team's best chance at making it to the top of the podium.

"A gold and either a silver or a bronze would be a spectacular performance," says Pedro. "We're setting our sights on making Olympic history, and that's winning a gold medal."


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