Montréal, September 7, 2014 – Tony Walby came away with the best performance by a Canadian judoka at the World Championships of the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA), a competition that took place on Friday and Saturday in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He finished 7th in the under 90 kg class in a field of 22 competitors.
Walby ended his day with a record of two wins and two losses. He began his day with a victory in his first bout against the Mexican Alejandro Gonzalez, before falling to the Russian Malik Kurbanov. He followed that up with his second win against the Brazilian Arthur Silva, but then succumbed to defeat versus the Uzbek Shurkhrat Boboev.
“I was quite surprised by the high quality of competition this weekend,” assistant coach Nathalie Gosselin explained. “It’s very promising for the future. Ukraine came with two full teams, and the other countries are bringing more and more athletes each year.”
Also in the under 90 kg category, Torontonian Alexander Radoman lost his opener against the Russian Anatoly Shevchenko but followed that up with a victory over the Spaniard Ingo Lopez. His day would subsequently come to an end with a loss to the then defending world champion, the Cuban Jorge Hierrezuelo. He would settle for silver this year after losing in the grand finale.
Justin Karn won his first match in the under 60 kg class against the Korean Minjae Lee before falling to the Uzbek Sherzod Namazov. There were 28 competitors in his division.
“I’m very satisfied with my performance,” the Longueuil-native Karn proclaimed. “The Korean beat me the last two times I’ve faced him, and I didn’t know anything about the Uzbek judoka. I didn’t really have a lot of time to prepare, and I just ended up making some technical errors against him.”
“Every year the competition gets more elite. The way things are going, eventually there won’t be much difference between the Paralympic squads and the Olympic squads.”
On the women’s side, Priscilla Gagné was the sole representative for Team Canada. She was handed a fairly difficult draw in the under 52 kg category, and fell in her first bout to the German Ramona Brussing. She then went on to lose to the Chinese Yan Quing Li. Her two opponents would go on to claim silver and bronze medals, respectively.
“Priscilla can at least take solace in the fact that she lost to two really strong girls,” Gosselin pointed out. “It was only her third ever international competition. She’s won two medals this season, but not at a world championship level like what we saw today.”
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Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada