With the increasing popularity of UFC in the professional sports world, martial arts could be one of the highlights at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The United States has sent 10 athletes in total to compete in either Judo or Taekwondo with a chance to take home multiple medals.
Kayla Harrison gave the U.S. its first ever gold medal in Judo when she competed at the 2012 London Olympics, and she’s back to make even more history. She is the betting favorite in the 172-pound division with 9/5 odds, via Paddy Power.
Harrison is one of two female judokas that have already won an Olympic medal. Marti Malloy won bronze four years ago, and she has the fourth-best gold medal odds (17/2) of anyone in the women’s 125.5-pound division.
Angelica Delgado isn’t expected to medal in Rio, and the same goes for Nick Delpopolo and Colton Brown, two of the three American men that are a part of the USA judo team. Travis Stevens (25/1) is expected to be more competitive than his male teammates, but it won’t be easy for him to win a medal in the 178.5-pound division.
Of the four Americans competing in taekwondo, three have a good chance to come home with a medal.
Paige McPherson (8/1) is in a competitive 148-pound weight class, but she earned a bronze medal four years ago. Jackie Galloway (5/1) was an alternate for Mexico in 2012, but her dual citizenship is allowing her to represent the USA in 2016. Only three other members of the women’s heavyweight division have better odds to win a gold medal.
Steve Lopez (6/1) is certainly a threat in Rio as he competes in his fifth consecutive Olympics, having won two gold medals and a bronze. Stephen Lambdin (33/1) will have a tougher go of it as a heavyweight in his first Olympic Games.
Judo gets underway just a few hours after the Opening Ceremony, and some medals will be awarded on Day 1. Five days after judo is completed, taekwondo begins on Day 12 (Aug. 17), with the action ending on Day 15, less than 24 hours before the closing ceremony.
Nick Delpopolo (73kg/161lbs)
Travis Stevens (81kg/178.5lbs)
Colton Brown (90kg/198.8lbs)
Angelica Delgado (52kg/114.5lbs)
Martin Malloy (57kg/125.5lbs)
Kayla Harrison (78kg/172lbs)
Steven Lopez (welterweight, 80kg/176lbs)
Stephen Lambdin (heavyweight, 80+kg/176+lbs)
Paige McPherson (women’s welterweight, 67kg/148lbs)
Jackie Galloway (women’s heavyweight 67+kg/148+lbs)
Judo Day 1 Schedule
Women’s 48kg prelims/quarterfinals, 9 a.m. ET
Men’s 60kg prelims/quarterfinals, 9 a.m. ET
Women’s 48kg repechage/semifinals/medal matches, 2:30 p.m. ET
Men’s 48kg repechage/semifinals/medal matches, 2:30 p.m. ET
Taekwondo Day 12 Schedule
Women’s 49kg Round of 16, 8 a.m. ET
Men’s 58kg Round of 16, 8 a.m. ET
Women’s 49kg quarterfinals/semifinals, 2 p.m. ET
Men’s 58kg quarterfinals/semifinals, 2 p.m. ET
Women’s 49kg repechage/medal matches, 7 p.m. ET
Men’s 58kg repechage/medal matches, 7 p.m. ET