The USA Junior Team at the 2021 Junior World Championships

The USA Junior Team at the 2021 Junior World Championships

The USA Junior Team at the 2021 Junior World Championships
Written by Nicolas Messner (IJF)

Photographs by Marina Mayorova

The Junior World Championships in Olbia, Italy, saw the United States team arrive in force, with 18 athletes competing during the next five days of the event; a good sign since the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 2028 are on the horizon.

American Judo System

Marisol Toro, Jack Yonezuka and Tasha Cancela

If the great American Olympic rendezvous may seem distant for some, for the juniors present in Italy, it is already an event to mark in their agendas because the preparation of the future generation of champions starts here.

The 18-member team was determined based on results at the 2021 USA Judo Junior Olympic National Championships on 19 June, 2021, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. 

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Of note, two sets of brothers will be representing USA Judo at this event. Nicholas and Dominic Rodriguez will both compete in the men’s under 73kg weight division, while Jack and Nicolas Yonezuka will compete in the men’s -66kg and -81kg weight divisions, respectively.  Both sets of brothers will be coached by their respective fathers, Daniel Rodriguez and Nick Yonezuka.

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Dominic Rodriguez

The senior Yonezuka was a member of the 1980 USA Judo Olympic Team that missed competing at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, due to the USA boycott. The Yonezuka family patriarch Yoshisada Yonezuka who passed away in 2014 served as the Head Coach of both the 1988 and 1992 USA Judo Olympic Teams. 

USA Judo 2021 Junior National Team 
Women: 
-48kg Monica Reyes 
-52kg Marisol Torro 
-57kg Tasha Cancela  
-63kg Sara Golden 
-70kg Shavon Gonzales 
-70kg Isabella Garriga 
-78kg Katherine Hrubes 
-78kg Crystal Acton 
+78kg Mia Moralez-Delgado 

Men: 
-60kg Joshua Yang 
-66kg Isaiah Ramirez 
-66kg Jack Yonezuka 
-73kg Nicholas Rodriguez 
-73kg Dominic Rodriguez 
-81kg Nicolas Yonezuka 
-90kg Issei Barefoot 
+100kg Christian Konoval 
+100kg Andrew Williams 

Coaches:  
Jhonny Prado
Nick Yonezuka
German Velazco
Albert Ramirez
Robert Perez
Daniel Rodriguez
Aryn Tanaka
Ed Liddie

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