U.S. Takes Three Medals at Opening Day
By Josh Eisenberg/Wheelchair Sports Federation
The United States claimed three medals in the opening day of the 2019 Lima Parapan American Games in Peru.
Richard Ties tied for bronze in the men’s -90-kilogram judo competition, while Chicago native Richard Hawthorne also earned bronze in the men’s -60-kilogram event. Benjamin Goodrich won a silver medal in the men’s +100 kilograms.
“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.
Despite playing in front of a raucous Peruvian host crowd, Team USA’s women’s sitting volleyball team swept Peru 25-6, 25-3, 25-15. U.S. captain Katie Holloway said Peru surprised them.
“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,” Holloway said. “There is always going to 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, in men’s sitting volleyball, Team USA split a doubleheader. The top-seeded U.S. team dominated Peru in a 3-0 victory but lost to Brazil 3-1 after winning the opening set.
In Para Athletics, Team USA’s Isaiah Rigo won gold in the men’s T52 400-meter event, while Hagan Landry (F40/41 men’s shot put) and Hannah Dederick (women’s T54 400) also earned gold medals.
Zackery Marshall (men’s T35 200), Lex Gillette (T11/12 men’s long jump), Yen Hoang (women’s T53 400), Jenna Fesemeyer (women’s T54 400) and Taleah Williams (women’s T47 long jump) earned silver medals. And Gianfranco Iannotta (T52 men’s 400), Catarina Guimaraes (women’s T38 400), Kelsey LeFevour (women’s T53 400) and Elizabeth Floch (women’s T54 400) earned bronze medals.
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 in the men’s class 9 singles for Team USA. Teammates Jensen Van Emburgh (men’s class 3 singles), Ahad Sarand (men’s class 5 singles) and Ian Seidenfield (men’s class 6 singles) each 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 10-meter SH2 Air Rifle Stand division.
In Football seven-a-side, Cameron Delillo and Seth Jahn scored two goals each and Andrew Bremmer added one as Team USA shut out Columbia, 5-0.
Both of Team USA’s wheelchair basketball teams also rolled to victories, as the men defeated Puerto Rico 102-35 and the women dropped Chile 92-10.
The top-seeded Team USA wheelchair rugby team played twice Aug. 24, cruising to wins. Behind Joe Delagrave’s 10 tries, the U.S. defeated Argentina 48-7. Then Chuck Aoki led them with 19 tries in a 55-35 win over ninth-seeded Brazil.
The top five medal leaders after Aug. 24:
United States (17)