LIMA, PERU– In the hours following the magic that was the opening ceremony, the race was on to see who would be the first official medal winners of the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games. It would not take long for the United States to claim 3 medals at Judo. Richard Ties would do just that, tying for bronze in the Men’s -90 kg Judo competition.
“It’s bittersweet. But it’s a medal. It’s hard when you are looking for gold, but i’ll take it.” said Ties after the competition.
Joining him on the platform was Men’s -60 kg Ronald Hawthorne. The Chicago native was flat-out happy to be bringing a medal back to the United States. In addition, Benjamin Goodrich earned his first silver medal of the Parapan games in Men’s +100 kg.
Crowd intimidation was definitely NOT a factor for the #1 ranked Team USA Women’s Sitting Volleyball squad as there was a packed arena full of Peruvians supporting their host nation’s team. The United States won the first set 25-6, the second set 25-3, and the third set 25-15 sweeping the match. After the match, Katie Holloway, Team USA Opening Ceremony Flag bearer and Captain of the Sitting Volleyball team, commented about the strength of the Peruvian crowd saying,
“Honestly, Peru surprised us today. I mean the fact that they were as loud as they were, and it was really challenging us to be at our best and as point number one that is absolutely what we need. We need to be able to handle every situation no matter what it looks like and Peru gave us that opportunity at managing it.” She continued, “There is always gonna be nerves the first set in terms of our play, but that’s all normal… to have a loud crowd and be able to manage that. Those are things that we need to do.”
Meanwhile, on the Men’s Sitting Volleyball side of play, Team USA had a double header. First, dominating Peru in straight sets winning 3-0. However, the outlook was much different in the second match vs. Brazil. The #1 seeded United States Team took the first set but lost the next three sets to Brazil, as they beat Team USA in four sets.
In Para Athletics, the gold rush was on for Men’s 400m T52 winner Isaiah Rigo who took home the top award in the race. Other gold medaling para athletes for Team USA include: Hagan Landry (Men’s Shot Put F40/41) and Hannah Dederick (Women’s 400m T54). Placing silver was: Zackery Marshall (Men’s 200m T35), Elexis Gillette (Men’s Long Jump T11/12), Yen Hoang (Women’s 400m T53), Jenna Fesemeyer (Women’s 400m T54), and Taleah Williams (Women’s Long Jump T47). The Bronze medalists were: Gianfranco Iannetta (Men’s 400m T52), Catarina Guimaraes (Women’s 400m T38), Kelsey Le Fevour (Women’s 400m T53), and Elizabeth Floch (Women’s 400m T54).
Look out, there’s a new sultan of swat in Para Table Tennis and his name is Tahl Leibowitz. Leibowitz took home a gold medal for Team USA and was joined by fellow teammates Jensen Van Emburgh (Men’s Singles Class 3), Ahad Sarand (Men’s Singles Class 5), and Ian Seidenfield (Men’s Singles Class 6) who all took home silver medals in their classes.
In mixed Para Shooting, McKenna Dahl came out guns blazing. She aimed high and attained the gold in 10m Air Rifle Stand SH2.
In Football 7-a-Side, Columbia was just outmatched by Team USA as the stars and stripes went on to defeat them 5-0. Scoring goals in the match were Midfielder Cameron Delillo (2), Seth Jahn (2), Andrew Bremmer (1).
Both men and women of Team USA’s Wheelchair Basketball teams were playing like they had something to prove, and showed no mercy. The men defeated Puerto Rico 102-35 and the women defeated Chile 92-10.
The top-seeded Team USA Wheelchair Rugby Team played twice on Saturday; both results were not pretty for the opposition. First, in the morning, the team tangoed with Argentina and dominated them, 48-7. Joseph Delagrave had 10 of the team’s 48 tries. In the second match, it was Team USA waxing #9 Brazil 55-35. Charles Aoki was a scoring machine entering the goal zone for 19 of the team’s points.
The top five medal leaders after Saturday August 24, 2019:
1. Brazil (36)
3. United States (17)
4. Mexico (11)
5. Ecuador (6)
Tomorrow, look out for Wheelchair Rugby! The Stadium at Villa El Salvador hosts Men’s #1 ranked Team USA taking on the #2 ranked Team Canada in what is predicted to be a very intense matchup.
Meanwhile, at Villa de Deportiva Nacional, Futbol 7-a-side United States team takes on host country Peru.
That’s all for now- for more photos from the day’s events check out: