Ohio’s Myles Porter takes GOLD At Parapan American Games In Guadalajara


From USA-Judo:

November 18, 2011 – Myles Porter,  from Fremont OH, has been climbing hard for several years and yesterday he threw an arm up over the mountain of victory and pulled himself up high, taking gold at the Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, securing a position on the U.S. Paralympic Judo Team headed to London next year.

“It’s one of those things I’ve been waiting for a long time,” Porter said after cleaning house through four matches with a series of breathtaking drop seoinage throws. “The experience of hearing my national anthem in a big international competition like that, it feels just great!” he exclaimed.

“I am very proud of Myles. His judo has come a long way in the last 4 years,” said Eddie Liddie, Porter’s coach at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. “With this win he showed that he is now on a whole new level.”

Porter’s stellar performance was all the more amazing because he stepped on the mats today feeling less than optimum. “To be honest, I was sick yesterday, but I didn’t tell anybody, I didn’t want to worry anybody.” And then, Porter said, he had great support coming from USA Judo’s staff, from coaching all the way up to the CEO Jose H. Rodriguez. “I couldn’t ask for more,” Porter said, and now he is virtually guaranteed a spot on the U.S. team headed to the Paralympics in London next year.

Porter threw ippon seoinage in all his matches, first against Argentina, then Canada, Brazil and Cuba to take the top spot on the podium. For complete results and brackets, go to the PARAPAN WEBSITE.

The Parapan American Games are a multi-sport event, like the Olympic Games, for athletes with disabilities in the Western Hemisphere. And with competition in judo coming from power nations in the sport like Brazil and Cuba, it is close in athletic prowess to what athletes will encounter next year in London.

Judo, among all the sports, is particularly well suited to athletes with visual impairments, because it relies so much on balance, a keen sense of momentum and touch.

Also finishing on the podium today for USA Judo was Katie Davis, +70kg (Team Sacramento, Sacramento, CA). She went one-and-one to take silver, winning her first match with a drop seoinage and a pin. For this strong prospect, though, that victory arrived bitter-sweet. Davis felt good stepping on the mat, she said, but didn’t get what she wanted. “I hope it’s enough to get to London.”

Christella Garcia, also of Sacramento Judo, took bronze fighting in the 70 kg division and Ryan Jones of Denver Judo, fighting in the 90 kg division, took fifth.

“Everyone did great,” said Heidi Moore, Assistant Coach of the U.S. Team and a coach at Denver Judo in Colorado. “We’re looking forward to more success over the next days of competition. The team is led by Denver Judo’s head sensei, Scott Moore.

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