Judo Canada – Montreal, July 4, 2019 – Parajudoka Priscilla Gagné stood on the second step of the podium on Wednesday at the International Qualification held in Fort Wayne, in Indiana.
Thanks to the silver medal won during this important step of the selection process for the Paralympic Games in Tokyo in 2020, Gagné earned precious points to help her get a spot on the Canadian team.
After winning her first two fights in the -52 kg category, the Canadian couldn’t keep a perfect score in the finale. She lost by ippon after 56 seconds against Ukrainian Inna Cherniak and will be leaving with the silver medal.
The defeat in the finale was a learning experience for the Montrealer, since it was her first time against the Ukrainian. “I was really happy to be up against her before the Paralympic Games in Tokyo. I didn’t win this match, but it’s good to know how she moves and how she fights,” she explained.
Earlier in the tournament, Gagné easily defeated American Cynthia Paige Simon and Japanese Ayumi Ishii. “Both fights went very well, I didn’t have any problems. I was focused, I had a good strategy, and it all worked out well. I used my strengths and focused on their weaknesses to win.”
Justin Karn in Seventh Place
Also competing, Justin Karn placed seventh in the -60 kg category with a score of one victory and two losses.
The Montrealer first defeated South Korean Kim Hyeonbin. After falling behind in the beginning of the bout when his opponent scored a waza-ari, Karn was able to hold his own and scored an ippon with 20 seconds left on the clock.
He was then defeated by Romanian Florin Alexandru Bologa in the second round and went into repechage, where he fought Spanish Borja Pahissa. Pahissa defeated the Canadian after 30 seconds, putting an end to his day.
Both parajudokas will be back in Canada on Thursday and will be preparing for the Pan American Games in Lima, the next international tournament on their calendar.
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