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Team USA’s Ron Hawthorne Takes 7th at Paralympics On First Day of Judo Competition

Aug. 30, 2012, 5:31 p.m. (ET)

August 30, 2012 - Ron Hawthorne (U.S. Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, CO) finished 7th today in the 60kg division at the Paralympic Games in London, a great start for Team USA on this, the first of 3 days of competition.

Hawthorne started out strong, defeating Ihor Zasyadkovych (UKR) with de ashi harai (foot sweep) for ippon.  In the quarter finals, Ron was pinned by eventual silver medalist,  Xiaodong Li (CHN). This put Ron into the repechage where he faced defending world and European Champion, Ben Quilter. With the crowd loudly and enthusiastically on Quilter's side, Ron pressed the match, fighting hard against Quilter's aggressive gripping.  Unfortunately, Ron was pinned midway through the match, ending his first Paralympic experience. Quilter went on to win a bronze medal.

Said coach Scott Moore, "Ron started the day strong with a decisive win against a tough competitor, but ran into some tough competition in the later rounds. We are very proud of his performance and 7th place finish. I look forward to continuing to work with Ron and seeing him on the podium in 2016."

Competition continues tomorrow in the women's 57kg and 63kg and men's 73kg and 81kg divisions. Representing the United States will be Cindy Simon (Kokushikai Judo, Fair Lawn, N.J.) at 57kg. Simon will face Monica Herrero (ESP) in the first round.  This is Simon's first Paralympic Games.

Competing Saturday are: Christella Garcia, 70 kg (Sacramento Judo Club, Sacramento, CA), Katie Davis, +70 kg (Team Sacramento Judo, Sacramento, 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).

Go to IPPON.ORG for brackets updated LIVE.

Go to YouTube ParalympicSportTV to watch judo action LIVE and recorded.

By U.S. Paralympic Team Assistant Coach Heidi Moore

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