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Major International Judo And Goalball Event Coming To Fort Wayne

By International Blind Sports Association | June 21, 2018, 11:08 a.m. (ET)

Joe Hamiltion (right) and Tyler Merren (background) compete in goalball at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.

The International Blind Sports Federation Goalball and Judo Paralympic Qualifying Competition will be held at the Turnstone Center between June 30 – July 10 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The event will provide some of the world’s best athletes with visual impairments the chance to book their ticket to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Events will be held at Turnstone Center, Indiana Tech and the Grand Wayne Center.

“IBSA would like to thank everyone who has been a part of bringing this event to the USA. I think it is a great opportunity to raise awareness of Paralympic goalball and judo in the build-up to Tokyo 2020, but also looking further ahead to Los Angeles 2028,” said Jannie Hammershoi, IBSA President. “I encourage everyone who enjoys competitive sport to put the dates in their diaries to go along and support these great athletes.”

“We are thrilled to see this important qualifying event hosted in the U.S. It will be a great opportunity to showcase the support of Turnstone and the Fort Wayne community to the global Paralympic family, and it will give our athletes the hometown advantage as they look to secure their spots to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games,” said Julie Dussliere, vice president, U.S. Paralympics.

“Turnstone, Visit Fort Wayne and the City of Fort Wayne are proud to collaborate with the United States Association of Blind Athletes and the International Blind Sports Federation to host this Paralympic qualifying event,” said Mike Mushett, CEO, Turnstone. “The high caliber of the facilities available to the athletes at Turnstone and throughout Fort Wayne will certainly compliment the level of competition we will have the privilege of witnessing.”

The event will give goalball teams and judoka another chance to gain qualification for Tokyo 2020 after world and regional championships held in 2018 and 2019.

“When you couple Turnstone’s Plassman Athletic Centre with the community’s first class sport venues, hotels and recreational and entertainment options along with Indiana’s famed Hoosier Hospitality, Fort Wayne is committed to hosting a first class event for the expected hundreds of athletes along with coaches, families, and spectators who will visit Fort Wayne,” said Dan O’Connell, President and CEO, Visit Fort Wayne.

“Turnstone, Visit Fort Wayne and the City of Fort Wayne will be excellent hosts for this international competition,” said Mark Lucas, Executive Director, US Association of Blind Athletes. “We look forward to welcoming elite athletes and coaches from around the world to Fort Wayne and showcasing the city as a premier destination for adaptive sports.”

More information will be available in September 2018 including registration information, details on travel and accommodation, and a tentative schedule.