The Junior World Championships are about to open in Olbia, Italy, where the United States team has arrived 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.
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 eighteen member team was determined based on results at the 2021 USA Judo Junior Olympic National Championships on 19th June 2021, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. 

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.

Dominic Rodriguez

The oldest 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 


-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 


-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

See also