Eldred Wins Bronze Medal At Senior Pan American Championships
London 2012 Olympic Hopeful, Michael Eldred, of Fruitland, Idaho and the Western Idaho Judo Institute competed at the 2009 Senior Pan American
Judo Championships on Friday, March 27, 2009, at the Centro Nacionalde Alto Rendimiento Deportivo in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Eldred competed in the largest category for the event, Male 73 Kgs and finished a long day with a record of four (4) wins, all by ippon (full-point), and one (1) loss.
In the first round, Eldred defeated Jose Hipolito/Mexico with an Ito pin for ippon (full-point) win. In the next round Eldred met and lost to eventual champion and two-time Olympic medalist, Leandro Guilheiro/ Brazil.
Dropping down into the repechage, Eldred then racked up 2 consecutive ippon wins against Leandro Vaz/Uruguay with an Ito pin, and Arturo Zapata/Venezuela with a Sankaku Gatame (leg triangle pin). This placed him into the evening session’s bronze medal match.
In the bronze final, Eldred met up with Argentina’s hometown hero, Francisco Cuneo. The match started out slowly with Eldred nearly catching Cuneo with a juji-gatame (cross) arm lock. Then after a few more gripping exchanges, Eldred turned a failed throwing attack by Cuneo into a modified British Strangle, with Cuneo submitting for the ippon. This gave Eldred the instant win and the bronze medal.
From left to right: Luis Chevez – President of Judo Federation of El Salvador, Nicholas Tritton/Canada – Silver
Guilheiro/ Brazil – Gold, Yordanis Arecibia/Cuba – Bronze, Michael Eldred/USA – Bronze. 3/28/2009