Big mat attack by Canadian para-judokas at German Open

February 8, 2016

Priscilla Gagne (left)

Montreal-based Priscilla Gagné grabbed a silver medal as all three Canadian entries reached the podium this past weekend at the German Open para-judo competition for athletes with visual impairments in Heidelberg.

Gagné won three of her four bouts in women’s 52 kilos including two by a match-ending Ippon to take the silver. Nataliya Nikolaychyk of Ukraine won her four bouts all by Ippon for the gold medal. Gagné also won the silver at the same event in 2014 and was second at the Parapan Am Games this past summer in Toronto.  She ended 2015 ranked fourth in the world.

Bronze medals were also earned by Tony Walby of Ottawa in men’s 90 kilos and Justin Karn of Guelph, Ont., in men’s 60 kilos. Both Canadian men’s combatants earned two wins and a loss in the prestigious tournament.

Massie fourth, best World Cup result for Canadian riders

Alex Massie & John Leslie

At the season opening para-snowboard World Cup event in Aspen, Colorado, Alex Massie of Barrie, Ont., was the top Canadian, finishing fourth in the second of two snowboard cross races for athletes with a lower limb impairment.

Massie, the X Games silver medallist here last week, was seventh in the first World Cup race. John Leslie of Arnprior, Ont., was sixth and seventh in the two World Cup races. A day earlier, Leslie, a Paralympic Games team member in 2014, took silver at a Norman event in Aspen.

Big White World Cup this week

2016 IPC Snowboard World Cup

Coming up next for Leslie and Massie is the second IPC World Cup para-snowboard event set for this Tuesday to Saturday at Big White, B.C.

The World Cup snowboard cross events, also featuring Canada’s Michelle Salt in women’s competition, are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday. On Tuesday, a Noram snowboard cross is scheduled.

A World Cup bank slalom, in which the riders race one at a time on a course that has banked turns on an undulating course, goes Friday followed by a Noram bank slalom on Saturday.

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