Montreal, July 24, 2019 – Judoka Priscilla Gagné won team Canada’s first medal of any sport at the Para Pan American Games in Lima. Saturday, the athlete training at the national training centre in Montreal ranked second in the -52 kg category. Justin Karn ranked in fifth place after being defeated in one of the two bronze-medal finals in -60 kg.
In addition to her second place, Gagné was especially proud of having put her defeat in the first round aside. She feels her bout against Brazilian Giulia Pereira, the eventual winner, was poorly judged by the official on the mat.
“I lost because of a strangulation hold. The referee thought I had hit the ground to stop her, but I didn’t. I wanted to grab her leg, and they wrongly interpreted my intention,” said Gagné, without bitterness, after the round-robin tournament.
“I was really frustrated, but I can’t control other people’s decision. I can only control my reaction and learn a lesson. I was able to get through this and stay focused for the other fights.”
That’s exactly what Gagné did, defeating Karla Cardoso (Brazil), Dure Rocio Ledesma (Argentina), and Paula Gomez (Argentina) in quick succession, all of them by ippon. Her victory against the latter only took 13 seconds.
“It was really surprised! She was a lot smaller than me, so I was expecting her to be powerful. I thought it would be a long fight, but I’m happy!”
“Priscilla should have been first, not second. I tried to protest, but it didn’t work. It’s a shame, because she clearly was the best athlete,” commented Canadian team coach Andrzej Sadej.
In 2015, at the Toronto Games, the 33-year-old had also won the silver medal in -52 kg.
Justin Karn Just Outside the Podium
The other Canadian in action on Saturday was Justin Karn in -60 kg. He was defeated by waza-ari by Brazilian Thiego Marques during the bronze-medal contest.
“It was a close fight and I made a mistake in the beginning, then ran out of time at the end. The victory was a possibility, but even though I did well on the defence, I should have been more offensive. I’ll go back home and work on being more offensive,” explained Karn.
In the first bout in the quarterfinal, the Montrealer by adoption lost by ippon against Cuban Sergio Perez.
In repechage, against Mexican Bryan Aburto, the Canadian still had a chance at winning a medal by winning the bout. The Mexican had an advantage of two shidos during the fight, but Karn was able to score an ippon right before the 3-minute mark.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada