Travis Stevens of Glenville placed ninth today in the 81 kg division judo competition at his first Olympic Games.
Stevens opened his day with a dominant win over Franklin Ceisneros of El Salvador, then lost to eventual gold medalist, 10-time World Cup medalist and former European champion Ole Bischof of Germany. Stevens then upset Mehman Azizov of Azerbaijan, a 17-time World Cup medalist who placed fifth in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, but fell to Tiago Camilo of Brazil, who won the 2007 World Championships and went on the win the bronze medal today.
"Travis fought extremely well and nearly pulled off a couple huge upsets, not to mention knocking off Azizov, who is a quality player," USA Judo Team head coach Jason Morris said. "This is certainly a great result for Travis and am excited for his future"
Stevens plans to return to international competition in the fall with stops at the U.S. Open and Rendez-Vous Canada, as well as a trip to fight in Europe.
"I'm going to go back to the village and go for a run tonight and then do a workout tomorrow," Stevens said. "I want to get right back into training and go through the tapes. If you wait a month, you start to forget things, so I'm staying through freestyle wrestling and then I want to get back in the dojo."
For more on Stevens' performance, read Morris' blog, "Live at the Olympics," at www.dailygazette.com.