Paris Paralympic Qualification Continues at IBSA Pan Ams on Sunday

by Nicole Jomantas

(Photo by USA Judo)

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Nine members of Team USA will fight for 2024 Paralympic qualification points this weekend at the International Blind Sports Association Pan American Championships in Edmonton, Canada.

Team USA will take on athletes from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia and Chile on Sunday.

The tournament will be the second qualifying event following the IBSA World Championships held in Baku, Azerbaijan last month.

Tokyo Paralympian Liana Mutia (Philadelphia, Pa. / El Idrissi Judo Academy) broke through at the World Championships, winning bronze in the J1 57kg category. The event was Mutia’s first tournament in the category after competing at 63kg in Tokyo. Mutia enters the Pan Ams ranked No. 9 in the world and is expecting a rematch against Priscilla Gagne (CAN) – the 2020 Paralympic silver medalist who also took silver in Baku.

Two-time Paralympian Katie Davis (Sacramento, Calif.) placed fifth at the IBSA Worlds and enters her second event since the Tokyo Games ranked No. 8 in the world in the J2 +70kg event. Davis’ top rival is expected to be Brazilians Rebeca Silva. A bronze medalist at the 2022 Worlds, Silva is ranked No. 1 in the world after going undefeated on the Grand Prix circuit this season, winning three straight golds. Davis will be joined in the division by 2022 Visually Impaired National Champion Clara Allardyce (Independence, Ky.)

A silver medalist in Tokyo, two-time Paralympian Ben Goodrich (St. Paul, Minn.) is aiming for his first Pan Am title this weekend. Goodrich, who moved from 100kg to 90kg after Tokyo, won silver at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix in July and is ranked No. 8 in the J2 90kg category. Among Goodrich’s top opponents to watch for in Edmonton is Marcelo Casanova (BRA) – a fifth place finisher at Worlds. Ricky Ties (Rochester, Minn.), a 2022 World Team member, also will compete in the J2 90kg event after winning bronze at the 2020 Pan Ams.

Rio Paralympic bronze medalist Christella Garcia (Sacramento, Calif. / Tohkon Judo Academy) returns to international action for the first time in three years with the potential to qualify for a third Paralympic Games. Garcia, who placed fifth at the London Games at 70kg and moved up to +70kg during the leadup to the 2016 Games, will compete in the J1 +70kg event against a field that is expected to include 2022 World silver medalist Erika Zoaga (BRA) who is ranked No. 2 in the world.

Beijing Paralympian Andre Watson (Aldan, Pa. / El Idrissi Judo Academy) began his comeback at the World Championships with a ninth place finish in the J1 90kg event, but will likely find himself competing in a field with World No. 1 Arthur Cavalcante Da Silva (BRA), a bronze medalist at the 2022 Worlds.

Reigning Visually Impaired National Champions Anthony Ferraro (Spring Lake, N.J.) and Robert Kim (Chicago, Ill. / Menomonee Judo Club) will both fight in the 73kg category with Ferraro competing as a J1 and Kim as a J2. The J1 division is expected to include Harlley Damiano Pereira Arruda (BRA), the No. 6 athlete in the world who won bronze at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix and placed fifths at Worlds.

The complete delegation roster is as follows:

Heidi Moore (Denver, Colo. / Denver Judo)
Scott Moore (Denver, Colo. / Denver Judo)
Brad Daniels (Portland, Ind.)

Marc Vink (Riverton, N.J.)

Women’s J1 57kg
Liana Mutia (Philadelphia, Pa. / El Idrissi Judo Academy)

Women’s J1 +70kg
Christella Garcia (Sacramento, Calif. / Tohkon Judo Academy)

Women’s J2 +70kg
Katie Davis (Sacramento, Calif.)
Clara Allardyce (Independence, Ky.)

Men’s J1 73kg
Anthony Ferraro (Spring Lake, N.J.)

Men’s J2 73kg
Robert Kim (Chicago, Ill. / Menomonee Judo Club)

Men’s J1 90kg
Andre Watson (Aldan, Pa. / El Idrissi Judo Academy)

Men’s J2 90kg
Ben Goodrich (St. Paul, Minn.)
Ricky Ties (Rochester, Minn.)

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