ODIVELAS, Portugal - Montreal’s Priscilla Gagné won the bronze medal Friday in women’s 52 kilos at the Para Judo World Championship for visually impaired.
The 32-year-old Paralympian ended her journey by winning by waza-ari against Uzbek Sevinch Salaeva. Ukrainian Inna Cherniak was crowned world champion against German Ramona Brussig and South Korean Song Nayeong stood next to Gagné on the podium’s third step.
Earlier in the day, Gagné won both her fights in repechage by ippon, first against Turk Semra Akgul then against Russian Alesia Stepaniuk. She had one victory and one loss in the preliminary rounds.
Gagné, who has a condition called retinitis pigmentosa, earned her first major title a few weeks ago when she won the women's 52 kilos title at the Pan Am Para judo championships in Calgary.
She produced her first big international success in judo in 2015 when she won the bronze medal at a World Cup in Hungary which featured nearly 200 competitors from 31 countries. A few weeks later she added a silver at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games. The following season she was fifth in her Paralympic Games debut.
Gagné was born in Granby, Que., but moved to Sarnia, Ont., at age three. She was initially involved in wrestling but decided to switch to judo in 2010 because there were more competitive opportunities.
In 2011, she suffered a major injury when she broke both her feet in the same bout at a tournament in Whitby, Ont. This kept her off the mat for eight months, but she eventually came back better than ever.
n 2013, Gagné moved to Ottawa where she joined the renowned Takahashi Dojo where she trained under former national team judoka and 1996 Olympian Nathalie Gosselin.
She is now based in Montreal and trains at the Judo Canada National Training Centre located at the INS Quebec under the supervision of the National Team coaching staff.
Also Friday, in the men’s 60 kg category, Justin Karn of Hamilton was ousted in the repechage as he lost to China’s Zhao Xu by ippon. In the first round, Karn also lost by ippon to Orkhan Garayev of Azerbaijan. Both his opponents finished in fifth place.