USA Judo have picked a team of 16 judoka for the Brasilia Grand Slam, which is now the most valuable Tokyo qualification event in Pan America, and will undoubtedly have the late Jack Hatton on their minds in their hearts. USA Judo announced the unexpected passing of Hatton, 24, on 26 September which sparked a huge outpouring of tributes from across the sport.
With the judo world still shocked and mourning the passing of the 2019 World Championships competitor, USA Judo have made the brave decision to compete this weekend as planned and will aim to pay tribute to their two-time Grand Prix medallist.
USA international Angelica Delgado (U52kg), who will be in action in Brasilia on Sunday, said: “Jack was always smiling. He would ask me all the time for new salsa or reggae music because he loved to dance.
“His face would light up when we were all together in some foreign country dancing the night away. Aside from judo and competing, I like to think his happiest times were surrounded by all of us, his teammates. Jack has left a mark on all of us. He would make fun of me and make my losses or the situation seem not so dim or important.
“He was a light in our lives. I believe most of us are still in shock and will mourn him and miss him greatly. It’s hard to put into words this empty feeling in the pit of my stomach. All I can say is that no one was like Jack Hatton; kind, humble, strong, and resilient. As a judoka and most importantly as a friend, he will never be forgotten.”