Kayla Harrison Takes Gold At Grand Prix in China


Team USA’s Kayla Harrison beat the 2008 Olympic Champion from China to take the Gold Medal at the Grand Prix Qingdao today.


“This is a huge win for Kayla,” said Jimmy Pedro, Jr., her coach who was back in the states. “One of the purposes for this trip was for Kayla to get a chance to compete against the Chinese girl because she has never fought her before. Getting a chance to fight her in the final in China and beating her by ippon couldn’t have worked out better!” he said. Pedro is the head coach of the US Olympic Judo Team.

Pedro’s dad, Jim Pedro Sr., coached Harrison overseas first to take silver in Tokyo at a Grand Slam just a week ago and then in China today. “We had planned on using these tournaments for training,” said Pedro, Sr. “The most important thing is the Olympics. So in Tokyo we didn’t know what to expect because we didn’t peak for that tournament. In Tokyo, beating the eighth seed from Slovenia and then beating the number four woman in the world, the Brazilian, was key.”

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