More than 50 athletes from six countries have arrived in Calgary, Canada, for the 2018 International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Judo Pan-American Championships which take place on Sunday (20 May).
A livestream and results will be available at www.judocanada.tv.
The competition is the latest step for judoka on the road to the 2018 World Championships in Lisbon, Portugal, from 16-18 November. It is being held as part of the Canadian Open Judo Championships.
Headlining the field for the hosts is current women’s -52kg world No. 3 and Parapan American Games silver medallist Priscilla Gagne.
Gagne is excited to compete at the same competition as all of her teammates:
“My goal is to be the best that I can be, to fight with no regrets, and to leave it all on the mat, holding nothing back. I’m very thankful for all of the people who’ve worked incredibly hard and lost a lot of sleep to make this event happen. My coach is also the organiser behind both nationals and this particular event, the para Pan-American Championships, so he has his hands full and I’m very thankful for him. I'm excited for my teammates to be able to cheer me on, and I’m excited to cheer them on!"
Also in the women’s, the -70kg features a strong field.
Mexico’s Rio 2016 Paralympic champion Lenia Ruvalcaba will make her season debut after finishing 2017 as the world No.2. The USA’s Paralympic bronze medallist Christella Garcia will also compete.
Brazil’s Lucia Araujo will try to continue her successful transition to the women’s -63kg in Calgary. Araujo claimed silver in the -57kg in Rio before moving to the higher division where she claimed a third-place finish at the 2018 IBSA Judo World Cup in Antalya, Turkey, in April.
Four-time Paralympic champion Antonio Tenorio will line-up for Brazil in the men’s -100kg. He will be joined by teammate and Paralympic silver medallist Wilians Araujo who will take on his heavyweight opponents in the +100kg.
The USA’s world title holder Dartanyon Crockett is facing his second international competition in as many months after competing at the World Cup. He is currently the top ranked judoka in the men’s -90kg in the Americas.