Paralympic Qualification Points on the Line for Team USA at the Parapan American Games
by Nicole Jomantas
(Colorado Springs, CO) – Team USA’s top Paralympic hopefuls will be fighting not only for positions on the podium, but valuable points towards qualification for the 2024 Paralympic Games at the Parapan American Games in Santiago, Chile this weekend.
The eight-person judo squad includes five Paralympic athletes, including 2020 Paralympic silver medalist Ben Goodrich (St. Paul, MN / 90 kg) and 2016 Paralympic bronze medalist Christella Garcia (Sacramento, CA / Team Sacramento Judo / +70 kg) as well as two-time Paralympian Katie Davis (Sacramento, CA / Team Sacramento Judo / +70 kg), Tokyo Paralympian Liana Mutia (Philadelphia, PA / El Idrissi Judo Academy / 57 kg) and 2012 Paralympian Ron Hawthorne (Kansas City, KS / Welcome Mat Judo Club / 60 kg).
Garcia and Mutia enter the events ranked No. 3 and No. 4 in their respective weight categories after bronze medal wins at the 2023 IBSA Worlds.
Team USA has a wealth of experience from the 2019 Parapan American Games with the squad returning five medalists from the Lima Games. Goodrich won silver in 2019 after fighting up to +100 kg while Davis, Garcia, Hawthorne and Ricky Ties (Rochester, MN / 90 kg) each earned bronze
Unlike events on the Grand Prix and World Championship circuit where athletes compete in J1 (totally blind) and J2 (partially sighted) categories, the Parapan American Games have combined the disability classifications within each weight category.
Competition schedule is as follows:
Sunday, Nov. 19
Men’s 60 kg, 73 kg
Women’s 48 kg, 57 kg
Monday, Nov. 20
Men’s 90 kg, +90 kg
Women’s 70 kg, +70 kg
Preliminary rounds begin at 8 a.m. Eastern daily with finals being held at 1 p.m. Eastern. All matches with be streamed live at www.panamsportschannel.org.
The complete delegation roster is as follows:
Scott Moore (Denver, CO)
Savanah Salas Manful (Lustre, MT)
Marc Vink (Toms River, NJ)
Men’s 60 kg
Ron Hawthorne (Kansas City, KS / Welcome Mat Judo)
Men’s 73 kg
Anthony Ferraro (Spring Lake, NJ / Liberty Bell Judo Club)
Robert Kim (Chicago, IL)
Women’s 57 kg
Liana Mutia (Philadelphia, PA / El Idrissi Judo)
Men’s 90 kg
Ben Goodrich (St. Paul, MN)
Ricky Ties (Rochester, MN)
Women’s +70 kg
Katie Davis (Sacramento, CA / Team Sacramento Judo)
Christella Garcia (Sacramento, CA / Team Sacramento Judo)