United States

San Jose State University Alumni Have Eyes Set on Rio Olympics

San Jose State University has a long history of producing Olympic athletes.

When it comes to judo, the school is synonymous with greatness thanks to 50 collegiate titles. Two of its alumni now hope to add to the university's reputation with a shot at gold in Rio.

Alumna Marti Malloy is training for the Olympics and is ranked No. 4 in the world for her weight class.
Malloy, who is on this year's United States Judo Olympic team, trains six days a week for a several hours a day.

"There's no reason that if I'm as focused and as in shape that I can be, that I can't win it all," she said.

Malloy competed in the 2012 games in London, but fell short of her goal when she lost in the semi-finals. Malloy still managed to take home a bronze medal.

"It was a pretty spectacular loss," she said. "I saw an opportunity for a really big attack, and I was like this could be a game-winning thing and it actually backfired, and I got thrown. The biggest throw you've probably ever seen, so that has been something plaguing me ever since."

Malloy has already qualified for the summer games and is guided by San Jose State coach Yosh Uchida. The 96-year-old coach helped turn judo into an Olympic sport.

"Marti is one of the best we have, not only a hard-working person, but real determined," Uchida said. "She loves San Jose State judo."
That love for SJSU judo is evident in Malloy also serving as an assistant coach on campus and helping young athletes like Colton Brown, also an Olympic hopeful.

"If it wasn't for judo, I don't know where I'd be or what I'd be doing because it teaches you to value people, to value things, Brown said.

Brown says only the top 22 judo athletes get to compete in the Olympics. He’s currently ranked No. 23 and has only four tournaments left to improve his chances of making the cut for Rio.

"When I wake up, when I look at my phone to turn off my alarm, it says 'Wake up, Olympic Games.' So that's what gets me up every morning," Brown said.

The next test for Brown is the Pan American Games in Cuba scheduled in three weeks. If Brown metals in Cuba he will qualify for Rio.

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