TRAVIS STEVENS WINS SILVER AT OLYMPIC GAMES IN RIO
Travis Stevens earned himself a SILVER medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio on Tuesday, August 8th in the under 81-kilogram division. This is Stevens' first Olympic medal and his third appearance at an Olympic Games. Travis won his first four matches in a typical Travis fashion, explosive, tactful and dominating! He started the day against Belgium, who had beaten him previously the last time they met. Travis was able to score with a yuko and advanced to the second round. He then squared off against Uzbekistan where Travis out gripped, out attacked and ultimately pinned for ippon!
He started the day against Belgium, who had beaten him previously the last time they met. Travis was able to score with a yuko and advanced to the second round. He then squared off against Uzbekistan where Travis out gripped, out attacked and ultimately pinned for ippon! In the quarter-finals, Travis went up against Bulgaria where he capitalized on a failed sacrifice throw and pinned him for the win. That match got him into the semi-finals where he would face off against world number one and rival on the international circuit, TCHRIKISHVILI from Georgia.
The Semi-Final match was one for the record books. Travis had only beaten TCHRIKISHVILI in the 2012 Olympic Games in London since then the Georgian came out on top each time. Except today. Head Coach Jimmy Pedro said, "You might see a cautious Travis in the beginning as the Georgian is VERY explosive, we need to take this match deep. Then Travis will be all over him and grind him out!" Travis was very methodical when fighting Georgia this time around. At the four minute mark, Travis is down by one penalty with only one minute to go and in the blink of an eye, the Georgian makes a drop attack and Travis locks in a choke. He gets his opponents lapel right under his chin and it's perfect. As Travis cranks on his neck, the Georgian taps and Travis moves on to the finals of the Olympic Games.
The final would be against a Russian whom Travis had faced before. Travis came out strong, dominating in mat work and looking to grind the Russian into exhaustion where Travis would eventually capitalize on. However, the Russian was able to counter Travis' throw and scoring ippon. The Russian claimed the Olympic Gold where Travis had to settle for Silver.
Be that as it may, Travis Stevens is the definition of an American Judo Hero. Travis is the first MALE to make an Olympic Final since 1992. Everyone at Pedro's Judo Center is so proud of his accomplishment. Travis Stevens proved to the world that he is one of the BEST to step on the judo mat!
Next up for Pedro's Judo Center is reigning Olympic Champion Kayla Harrison who competes on Thursday in the under 78-kilogram division. Here is what Head Coach Jimmy Pedro had to say on Kayla's draw for the Olympics, "She will face China first round. She's a solid right sided judoka and it will be a fight for sure. But I am confident that Kayla will come out on top. Next round she will face the winner of Hungary and Japan. I anticipate that it will be the reigning world champion from Japan, which is who we figured she would be facing in her pool, but I know without a doubt Kayla is ready for both girls."