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Delpopolo Wins Bronze at 2012 Pan American Championships
May 1, 2012
Montreal, QC – Nick Delpopolo from the Jason Morris Judo Center (JMJC) in Glenville, NY performed well over the weekend at the 38th Pan Am Judo Championships April 27-28, 2012 in McConnell Arena at McGill University. The Pan Am Championships was the last qualifying tournament for the 2012 London Olympic Games and all athletes from the Pan American Union showed up with their ‘A’ game for this important event.
Delpopolo (23) was competing in his second Pan Ams and he matched his 2011 result going 3-1 to win the bronze medal in the 73kg division. Delpopolo looked sharp early on as he defeated Canadian Justin Imagawa by waza-ari and yuko. Delpopolo improved his record over the Canadian to 6-0. In the quarter final Delpopolo threw 2010 Pan Am finalist Antonio Rivas (VEN) with a gorgeous uchimata at the 2 minute mark. Delpopolo lost a semi-final battle to eventual gold medalist Ronald Girones (CUB) by the slimmest of margins, yuko to shido. Girones was brilliant on the day as he needed to secure the gold in order to qialify for the Olympics via the Pan Am quota. Delpopolo faced a very game Fausto Bivieca (DOM) in the bronze medal match. The two also competed at the 2011 Pan Am’s where Nick squeaked by winning by a yuko near the end of overtime. 2012 would prove to be different for the American as a new game plan saw him dust the Dominican with a beautiful Uchi-mata for ippon and a spot on the podium. This result was worth 72 International ranking points and inches Delpopolo closer to breaking into the top 10 players in the World.
Delpopolo had this to say of his performance: “I feel like I put in a very workman like day and I’m always disapointed when I don’t win gold but on the positive side my coach [Jason Morris] has had me working on some new things that I was able to execute over the weekend.”