Team USA finished the first day of competition Saturday at the British Open in West Sussex, United Kingdom with three bronze medal wins.
Ryan Reser (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Olympic Training Center/73kg), the 2001 British Open Champion, won his first two matches of the day, including a nine-second win by ippon (instant win, similar to a knockout in boxing) over Emmanuel Kojo Nartey (GBR). Reser dropped his third match to eventual silver medalist Craig Ewers (GBR), but worked his way through the repechage, winning two more matches by ippon to claim the silver medal.
Taylor Takata (Brownsville, Texas/Brownsville USA Judo National Training Site/66kg) looked to have a chance to claim his first British Open title, reeling off three wins before losing in the semi-finals to Colin Oates (GBR). Takata then advanced where he won on a penalty over Osamu Kawakami (JPN).
Eva Smith (Fall River, Mass./Taki-Gawa) rebounded from a loss in her first match to eventual gold medalist Simone Callender (GBR) to win a bronze with wins over Stephanie Hart (GBR) and Caroline Pont (GBR). Long considered to be the top junior heavyweight in the United States, Smith moved into the top U.S. ranking this fall with podium finishes at the U.S. Open and Rendez Vous Canada.
Another junior athlete making his mark on the senior scene was Bobby Lee (Lauderhill, Fla./North Miami USA Judo National Training Site) who posted a 4-2 record in his first British Open to finish fifth - the best finish for the 17-year-old in a senior international tournament.
Complete results are as follows:
1. Sarah Clark (GBR)
2. Laetitia Blot (FRA)
3. Africa Gutierrez (ESP)
3. Maite Rongier (FRA)
9. Kayla Harrison (Middletown, Ohio/Renshuden), 2-2.
9. Kristen Allan (Springfield, Va./Sport Judo), 2-2.
1. Anne Lauie Poli (FRA)
2. Magali Leguay (FRA)
3. Veronique Diebolt (FRA)
3. Rosalina Oukoloff (FRA)
Also Competed: Jaclyn Feuerschwenger (Linden, N.J./Cranford Judo & Karate Center), 1-1.
1. Michelle Rogers (GBR)
2. Sian Janine Wilson (GBR)
3. Celine Lebrun (FRA)
3. Miranda Van Den Broek (NED)
7. Nina Cutro-Kelly (Albany, N.Y./Judo America), 1-2.
7. Molly O'Rourke (El Cerrito, Calif./East Bay Judo Institute), 1-2.
1. Simone Callender (GBR)
2. Sarah Adlington (GBR)
3. Eva Smith (Fall River, Mass./Taki-Gawa), 2-1.
3. Rhonda Sturley (GBR)
1. Cyrille Soyer (FRA)
2. Gonzalo Ibanez (CAN)
3. Michael Neale (GBR)
3. Gavin Anthony Davies (GBR)
1. Colin Oates (GBR)
2. Gareth Carder (GBR)
3. James Millar (GBR)
3. Taylor Takata (Brownsville, Texas/Brownsville USA Judo National Training Site), 4-1.
Also Competed: Josh O'Neil (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Olympic Training Center), 1-1.
1. Matthew Edward Purssey (GBR)
2. Craig Ewers (GBR)
3. Ryan Reser (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Olympic Training Center), 5-1.
3. Iaian Feenan (GBR/SCO)
5. Bobby Lee (Lauderhill, Fla./North Miami USA Judo National Training Site), 4-2.
9. Michael Eldred (Fruitland, Idaho/Western Idaho Judo Institute), 2-2.