A total of nine of the 12 athletes who helped the United States win the men's silver and women's Paralympic Games bronze medals in goalball at Rio 2016 are set to return for Tokyo 2020.
The teams were announced by the United States Association of Blind Athletes at the Turnstone Center, an official US Olympic and Paralympic Training Site in Fort Wayne in Indiana, and home to the Goalball Center of Excellence and the USA Goalball Resident Athlete Training Programme.
Named to the men’s team were Zach Buhler, John Kusku, Tyler Merren, Matt Simpson, Daryl Walker and Calahan Young.
The women’s team members are Mindy Cook, Lisa Czechowski, Amanda Dennis, Marybai Huking, Eliana Mason and Asya Miller.
The US men's team are in Group A alongside defending champions Lithuania, Algeria, Brazil and hosts Japan.
The women are in Group D alongside Brazil, Egypt, Japan and Turkey, the Rio 2016 gold medallists.
At Rio 2016, the US was the only country to have both its men’s and women’s teams reach the podium.
Between them the men and women’s teams have made a combined 21 Paralympic Games appearances and won 14 medals.
Kusku, Merren, Simpson and Walker all return from the silver medal-winning men’s squad at Rio 2016.
For Merren, Tokyo 2020 will mark his fourth Paralympic Games.
He also won a bronze medal at Athens 2004 and was a member of the team at Beijing 2008, where the US were knocked out by hosts China in the semi-final, along with Walker, due to participate in his third Games.
Buhler and Young will be making their Paralympic Games debuts in Tokyo.
The men’s team is fresh off a victory over defending Paralympic champions and hosts Lithuania in the finals of an international tournament in Trakai in May.
Lithuania had beaten the US 14-8 in the final at Rio 2016.
"After the USA Men’s Goalball Team's performance and victory at the Trakai Games, I’m fully confident that the six athletes selected for the Tokyo Paralympic Games will represent our nation well," US men’s goalball head coach Keith Young said.
"We have veterans who have prior Paralympic Games experience as well as strong newcomers.
"Our programme has moved through having a relatively new coaching staff brought on and a renewed focus on high performance programming, in addition to dealing with the COVID pandemic.
"I fully believe that we have a team where all six athletes can contribute on the court and face the best teams in the world."
For the women, five of the six who won the bronze medals at Rio 2016 will be taking another tilt at glory in the Japanese capital.
For Czechowski and Miller, Tokyo 2020 will be their sixth consecutive Paralympic Games appearance having made their debuts at Sydney 2000.
They won silver at Athens 2004 and gold at Beijing 2008 gold before bronze at Rio 2016, which was clinched when the US beat hosts Brazil 3-2 in the medal playoff match.
Prior to that they both competed in discus at Sydney 2000 where Czechowski was the silver medallist and Miller took the bronze.
Dennis will be participating in her third consecutive Paralympics, while Huking and Mason will make their second straight appearance.
Only Cook will be making her debut at Tokyo 2020.
The women’s team captured the silver medal in last month’s Trakai Tournament.
"Choosing the final roster for an event as prestigious as the Paralympic Games is never easy," said US women’s goalball head coach Jake Czechowski, the husband of Lisa Czechowski.
"The depth of our player pool made this year’s selection especially difficult.
"We have great veteran leadership and experience with a combined 14 Paralympic teams.
"I expect our team to be ready for all the challenges and excitement that the Paralympics provides.
"This year, with all the changes and new protocols due to COVID, experience will be that much more valuable.
"The competition has never been stronger in women’s goalball, and we look forward to taking the court and competing against the best teams in the world."
Alternates for the men’s team are Cody Carmicle and Sean Walker, while Shavon Lockhardt will serve as alternate for the women’s team.