Sean Woodland highlights athletes to watch in the Age Group Online Qualifier and Occupational Games. He also shares some exciting season updates about three adaptive divisions that competed in the Open.
The AGOQ and Occupational Games begin Thursday, May 6, and will follow a similar format and score submission schedule to the Quarterfinals.
Some big competitors to keep an eye on include five-time Games athlete Dan Bailey (Men 35-39), Games veteran and schoolteacher Val Voboril (Women 40-44), and 17-year-old Paulina Haro, who took first place overall in the 2021 Open in Mexico, to name a few.
Later, Woodland catches up with Annie Sakamoto (Women 45-49) to talk about what it means to have masters athletes back at the 2021 Games.
“We want to be recognized as still being competitive,” Sakamoto says. “So, it’s really exciting to think that not only will we be back, [but] there’s a bigger field, which means it’s more competitive, which means we’ll be able to show off how competitive we are.”
Some big news about the adaptive athlete competition as well: The top five men and women from the Open in the upper extremity, lower extremity, and neuromuscular adaptive divisions will be invited to compete at the 2021 Games.