Travis Stevens Takes Gold At IJF World Masters
World Ranked #14 Travis Stevens had a great tournament in Guadalajara at the IJF World Masters.
Stevens was on fire and might even make it to a seeded position in Rio after he caught Joachim Bottieau in the final U81kg. Bottieau got three penalties rather quickly in the match and couldn’t bring up his usual technique which delivered him two gold medals at the Grand Prix in Düsseldorf last two years.
The Belgian is a great technician and Stevens is the warrior, immediately the match started toe to toe in a serious fight. Stevens had 16 IJF World Tour finals in his career and he lost 9, but not today when everything worked out the way it had to be. Eighteen seconds for the end Stevens hit with a sutemi and was awarded a yuko. He landed in oseikomi and defeated Bottieau and unveiled a good old smile. It’s still possible.
In Stevens semi final he really spanked Roman Moustopoulos. He also defeated Elias Nacif and Ivan Silva in his road to the final. It’s great to see Stevens in such form where some might have thought he had no chance at all at top level, but proved differently in Guadalajara.
The bronze medal bout between Dagvasuren Nyamsuren of Mongolia and Mohamed Abdelaal of Egypt. It was very tight and no score in the regular time. In the golden score the hips of Abdelaal changed direction and took Dagvasuren over for ippon, bronze for Egypt. The other bronze medal was captured by Roman Moustopoulos in a tight match against Alan Khubetsov after two penalties for the Russian.
Travis Stevens was fifth at the 2012 London Olympic Games and multiple winner of various IJF event such as Tashkent and Dusseldorf. Travis Stevens won Pan American Championships and Panam Games in 2015. He started 2016 with silver in Havana and won the World Masters this weekend in Guadalajara. He is still in the race for another attempt for an Olympic medal as we all heard The Star-Spangled Banner again for him. That may trigger more.