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Jack Hatton was considered a top candidate for the 2020 Olympic team.

By Jenna West
September 26, 2019

Jack Hatton, a member of the U.S. national judo team and a 2020 Olympic hopeful, died at the age of 24, USA Judo announced in a statement on Wednesday.

Details of Hatton's death were not immediately available.

"It is with extremely heavy hearts that USA Judo announces the unexpected passing of USA Judo national team member, Jack Hatton. We extend our sincere condolences to the Hatton Family, and Jack's teammates, coaches and friends," the sport's governing body said in the statement. "Jack made an indelible mark on all who had the pleasure of knowing him, and he will not be forgotten. We grieve with the entire USA Judo and international judo community during this tough time."

Hatton, a top judoka in the -81 kg division, placed fifth at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, in August. He also recently competed at the world championships in Tokyo but did not place.

Pedro's Judo Center in Wakefield, Mass., owned by Hatton's coach and former world champion Jimmy Pedro, paid tribute to Hatton in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

"Along with being a top US Judo athlete, Jack was kind-hearted, caring and an all-around great person. He was a true role model for students at our dojo and judoka all over the country. He will be deeply missed by all of us at Pedro's Judo Center and the rest of the judo world."

USA Judo said it is offering grief counseling services for those in need. A GoFundMe account created for Hatton's family has already raised over $11,600 dollars by Thursday afternoon.

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