CALGARY – Canadians Priscilla Gagné and Justin Karn went undefeated to win their respective categories this past weekend at the Pan American Para judo championships for athletes with a visual impairment.
“I’m very happy,’’ said Gagné, from Granby, Que. ‘’It was so exciting because Justin also won gold. It was really incredible.’’
Gagné claimed the gold medal in the -52 kg weight division after beating all her three opponents by ippon.
“This was really important to me personally because it was held in Canada, and also because it took place at the same time as the Canadian Judo Championships,’’ said Gagné.
‘’That made it special, but it also boosted my confidence for the Tokyo Paralympic qualifiers that will take place this fall.’’
Gagné’s coach Andrzej Sadej was pleased with her performance.
“She even fought against a former Paralympic medallist from Brazil, whom she quickly beat by ippon,’’ he said. ‘’ It was impressive.’’
Karn, from Hamilton, says he was inspired to win gold for his father who passed away last week.
“It’s been an emotional roller coaster,” said Karn, the men’s 60 kg champ, who posted a 3-0 record. “It’s very special. We’ve been waiting for this event for the last two years. With all the challenges that I’ve faced, it’s a tremendous accomplishment.”