Pan: Lovato’s student is the big winner of day 1

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The first day of competitions of the 2012 Pan gathered a thousand athletes at the Bren Events Center in Irvine, California.

Among white belts and blue belts, the day was marked by a legion of Jiu-Jitsu stars giving instructions at the sidelines.

There were Xande Ribeiro, Romulo Barral, Romero Jacare, Andre Galvao, Fabio Gurgel, among many others.

And Rafael Lovato Jr was the one with the biggest smile at the end.

The leader of Lovato JJ saw his pupil Jared Dopp work his way to a double gold in the blue belt.

The 25-year-old Texan had six matches and took home the super-heavyweight and absolute titles, becoming the great name of the first day.

“Nobody works harder than him. In Texas, he doesn’t have a black belt to guide him, just as I didn’t have when I started. I am very proud of him!” celebrated Lovato, before revealing that Dopp is a moving to Oklahoma City.

The blue belt division had the distinction of being the most populous category of Pan 2012, with 126 athletes in the lightweight weight class alone.

Check out some great images from day one at Pan 2012, and don’t forget to keep checking the full coverage on Facebook and Twitter.

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Photos: Ivan Trindade

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