Competition in judo begins tomorrow for the United States at the Paralympic Games in London with the first U.S. fighter, Ron Hawthorne, 60 kg (U.S. Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, CO.), stepping on the mats. SEE SCHEDULE.
The draws for competition were just held in London with Hawthorne matched against Ihor Zasyadkovych of the Ukraine in the first round. Hawthorne “has never fought him before, but has trained with him several times,” said Assistant Coach Heidi Moore. “The Ukraine finished seventh in the 2010 World Games and third at the 2011 Para-Europeans.”
Cindy Simon then is next up for the United States, facing Monica Herrero of Spain in her first round on Friday. “Herrero is the 2011 Para-European gold medalist,” Moore said. “If she (Simon) wins, she will face Texieria of Brazil, the 2010 and 2011 World Games Silver Medalist.”
Then competing on Saturday are: Christella Garcia, 70 kg (Sacramento Judo Club, CA), Katie Davis, +70 kg (Team Sacramento Judo, CA), Dartanyon Crockett 90 kg (U.S. Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, CO) and Myles Porter, 100 kg (U.S. Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, CO).
Christella faces Qian Zhou of China in the first round. She fought her in the 2011 World Games, and was fighting well until was pinned near the end of the match, Moore said. “She is determined not to make the same mistake again.”
Then, said Moore, Katie Davis “has Diane Da Silva of Brazil, who she (Katie) defeated in the 2011 ParaPan American games. If she wins, she will face Yuan of China who is the 2008 Paralympic Champion and 2010 and 2011 World Champion.”