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USA Judo Visually Impaired National Championships Results

April 19, 2009, 6:45 p.m. (ET)

(San Diego, Calif.) - USA Judo played host to the first ever Visually Impaired National Championships on Saturday in which blind and visually impaired judo players competed for National titles as the first step on the road to the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.

After placing seventh in the his 100kg division in the Senior Nationals for sighted players on Friday, 2008 Paralympian Myles Porter (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center / Boulder Judo Training Center) took less than a minute total to win each of his three matches in the visually impaired division.

Porter's Paralympic teammate Greg Dewall (Chico, Calif. / Stanford Judo), a bronze medalist as a heavyweight in Beijing, moved down to 90kg where he was upset by newcomer Jason Keaton (Elizabethtown, Ky. / Fort Knox Judo). Although Keaton is new to the Paralympic scene, he has competed extensively in Brazilian Jujitsu and coaches Mixed Martial Arts fighters.

The only female U.S. Paralympian to win a medal in judo, Lori Pierce (Austin, Texas / University of Texas) fought in her first tournament since the 2004 Games where she won a silver medal, but she placed second in both the Open and 78kg divisions behind Christella Garcia (Sacramento, Calif. / Sacramento Judo Club), a 2007 Blind World Team member, and Katie Davis (Sacramento, Calif. / Team Sacramento), respectively.

Andre Watson (Philadelphia, Pa. / Liberty Bell Judo) competed in the 90kg division at the Beijing Paralympic Games, but moved down to 81kg where he was upset by Adnan Gutic (St. Lois, Mo. / White Dragon Judo Club).

Ronald Hawthorne (Kansas City, Kans. / Cahill's), a 2007 Blind World Team member, placed fifth in the sighted 55kg division just two hours earlier when he fought up to 66kg in the visually impaired division. Although Hawthorne gave up approximately 20 pounds to his competitor, he still defeated Adam Gonsalez (Kansas City, Mo. / Welcome Mat Judo).

Gonsalez added a second division to his repetoire, fighting up to 73kg where he beat Michael Davis (Sacramento, Calif. / Team Sacramento).

Complete results for all divisions are as follows:

Visually Impaired Women's 52kg
1. Tina Thomas (Los Angeles, Calif. / Mojica Judo Club)

Visually Impaired Women's 78kg
1. Christella Garcia (Sacramento, Calif. / Sacramento Judo Club)
2. Lorena Pierce (Austin, Texas / University of Texas)

Visually Impaired Women's Open
1. Katie Davis (Sacramento, Calif. / Team Sacramento)
2. Lorena Pierce (Austin, Texas / University of Texas)

Visually Impaired Men's 66kg
1. Ronald Hawthorne (Kansas City, Kans. / Cahill's)
2. Adam Gonsalez (Kansas City, Mo. / Welcome Mat)

Visually Impaired Men's 73kg
1. Adam Gonsalez (Kansas City, Mo. / Welcome Mat)
2. Michael Davis (Sacramento, Calif. / Team Sacramento)

Visually Impaired Men's 81kg
1. Adnan Gutic (St Louis, Mo. / White Dragon Judo Club)
2. Andre Watson (Philadelphia, Pa. / Liberty Bell)
3. Romeo Edmead (Brooklyn, N.Y. / Oishi Judo Club)
3. Anthony Johnson (Greensboro, N.C. / Greensboro Judo Club)

Visually Impaired Men's 90kg
1. Jason Keaton (Elizabethtown, Ky. / Fort Knox Judo)
2. Greg Dewall (Chico, Calif. / Stanford)
3. Robert Deese (Billings, Mont. / Martial Arts Academy)
3. Christopher Jones (Hercules, Calif. / Cahill's)

Visually Impaired Men's 100kg
1. Myles Porter (Colordo Springs, CO / OTC)
2. Marty Langworthy (Salt Lake City, UT / )
3. Ryan Jones (Denver, Colo. / Denver Judo)
3. Michael Larsen (San Francisco, Calif. / Cahill's)

Visually Impaired Men's +100kg
1. Johann Shockency (Andover, Minn. / Bemidji State Judo)

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