by Neil Ohlenkamp, US Team Coach
The United States visually impaired judo team earned two medals at the World Championships and Games for the Disabled in Assen, Netherlands from July 14 to July 26, 1990. In the -95 kg division Lynn Manning, California, was undefeated and was awarded the gold medal after a close championship match against Mikhail Yakovlev of the Soviet Union. Although new to international competition, Richard Keeney, California, earned a silver medal in the -86 kg division losing only to Daniel Fourcade of France. The other two competitors on the U.S. judo team were Winford Haynes, New Mexico, in the -65 kg division and Jamie McKinley, Washington, in the -78 kg division.
The 1990 Judo World Championships were the largest and most competitive ever held. The U.S. team performed better than in any previous international event, even with entries in only 4 of the weight classes. The blind judo team joined over 200 physically disabled athletes and coaches from the United States, and 3000 others from 40 countries around the world. World-class competition was held in various sports in addition to judo such as track and field, swimming, volleyball, tennis, basketball and shooting. Different events were held for each class of disability including amputees, paraplegics, and athletes with cerebral palsy.