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NORMAL — Joshua McClellan and Gregory Hayward of Bloomington were among 16 athletes and coaches from Special Olympics Illinois chosen Thursday to compete for Special Olympics USA in the World Games Abu Dhabi 2019.

McClellan competes in Unified Tennis and Hayward is a Unified Partner in tennis.

The Special Olympics USA contingent will include 216 athletes, 63 coaches and approximately 34 delegation members who support team operations.

Team members will compete in 18 of the 24 sports offered: athletics, basketball, bocce, bowling, cycling, equestrian, football (soccer), golf, gymnastics–artistic, gymnastics—rhythmic, open water swimming, powerlifting, sailing, swimming, table tennis, tennis, triathlon and volleyball.

Also among the Special Olympics Illinois representatives will be equestrian coach Thomas Walmsley of Decatur.

An estimated 7,500 athletes from 176 nations will compete in the World Games Abu Dhabi.

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