After spending countless years in the finals only to come up shorthanded, 2017 World Team member Pat Smith conquered his competition to make his first World Team. For him, this is just the beginning.
In his quest to make his first World Team, Smith pushed past 2016 Olympic Trials champion Ravaughn Perkins, in the semifinals of the World Team Trials at 71 kg. Smith and Perkins met last year in the finals at 66 kg at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Smith lost in the best of three series after he claimed a victory in the first match, only to lose his hold in the following two. This year Smith dominated in the match, beating Perkins 6-0.
“I knew the gravity of [the match] but I tried not to let it get to me. Having that revenge mindset can be draining. I tried to kept a clear head and focused on the things I needed to do in order to beat him,”
In the finals Smith took out 2016 World Team member Christopher Gonzalez in the best of three series, 2-0, to secure his spot on the 2017 World Team. Continue reading at www.teamusa.org