Ryan Jones is one of 11 American men scheduled to represent his country in judo at May’s IBSA World Games in Seoul, Korea. He will be competing in the men’s -81kg. He is the topped rank competitor in the United States, and he is currently ranked 14th in the 2015 IBSA Senior World Ranking List.
His visual impairment is a result of degenerative eye diseases at birth. He took up judo in 2007. He used to compete in the men’s +100kg. Jones finished second at the Senior National Championships in 2013 and 2014. He has been representing the US at many international competitions including ParaPan American Championships, World Championships and World Cups. Recently, he finished 9th, after being defeated by Ecuador’s gold medalist Sanchez Avila at the 2014 IBSA World Championships in Colorado Springs, the United States. He won a bronze medal at the International German Judo Championships for the Blind and Visual-Impaired, organized by German Paralympic Committee in early 2015.
He is training full time at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center. He is trying to participate in many international events with the hope of competing at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Judo is taking place at the Seoul Student Gymnasium, with competition officially getting underway on May 12 and running until May 15. Judoka will have the opportunity to start training on May 8, two days before the opening ceremony. Judo has been part of the IBSA World Championships and Games since the event’s inception, and has been on the Paralympic program since 1988 when Seoul hosted the Games. Women’s judo was added to the Paralympic program in Athens at the 2004 Games.