Montreal, September 8, 2016 – Canadian judoka Priscilla Gagné came very close to bringing home a Paralympic bronze medal this Thursday, at Rio’s Arena Carioca 3. In the end, she came in fifth in the Under 52 kg class.
The 30-year-old Sarnia resident started out her day with a bye from the opening round, and then went on to win her quarter-finals match against Algerian Cherine Abdellaoui, Under 60 kg Paralympic champion at Beijing in 2008 and bronze medallist in London, 2012. The Algerian took a penalty for non-combativity, which tipped the scale in favour of the Ontario athlete. Abdellaoui would go on to step onto the third step of the podium in the competition.
In the repechage round, Gagné served an ippon to Ukrainian Liudmyla Lohatska, 10th at the 2014 World Championships.
It was in the fight for the bronze that Gagné, silver medallist at the Toronto Parapan Am Games, lost for the only time in the tournament.
Right out of the gate, Uzbek Sevinch Salaeva, fifth in the 2014 World Champs, never let her guard down. A mere 43 seconds into the match, Priscilla Gagné took a non-combativity penalty.
But Andrzej Sadej‘s protégée didn’t let herself get pinned down. She tried to throw Lohatska, but the Uzbek regained control and got a yuko in, which landed her on the podium. The two athletes showcased their fine sportsmanship by congratulating each other after the bout.
France’s Sandrine Martinet was crowned 2016 Paralympic champion, after a victory over Germany’s Ramona Brussig.