Forty seconds went into the fight before the official confirmed Priscilla Gagné well-deserved a bronze medal on Tuesday at the Para Judo Grand Prix held in Almada, Portugal.
Gagné quickly dominated the encounter against Italy’s Asia Giordano in the J1 -57kg class. She knocked her opponent down with ease, then forced her to submit in a shime waza style.
Her journey, which ends with the third step on the podium, did not start as the vice-world champion would have liked.
The 36-year-old judoka started her tournament against Dondu Yeslyurt, the same player who defeated her in the final of the last world championship. Despite her best efforts, the Canadian was unable to take revenge on the Turkish, who managed waza-ari just two minutes earlier. She then protects her lead until the last moments despite several attempted attacks by Janie.
“The J1 category under 57 kg was the only one in which all world medalists competed and they all ended up on the podium,” said Andre Sadi, coach of the national team.
Quebec then defeated Spain’s María Manzanero Ruiz in a replay. She climbed onto the scoreboard with a waza-ari attack and withstood her opponent’s ensuing counterattack. With just over a minute left in the fight, Jani was defending herself on the floor when she grabbed Manzanero Ruiz’s arm. Her style outperformed her competition and gave her the victory.
Christina Mowatt, in the under-57kg event in J1, Portugal, also faced Italy’s Asia Giordano on Tuesday. The latter sent the Canadian to the ground to score and continued her maneuver on the ground to win the ippon.
Once in the replay, Mouat faced Ina Cerny of Moldova. Both judokins received a penalty for not fighting within the first minute. Cerny led 15 seconds later and an ippon scored to continue his way into the class draw.
“After her surprising fifth place in the world championship, Christina no longer underestimates her. Her opponents know how to fight her without risking a powerful counterattack, which is where Christina excels, ”said André Sadie.
On Monday, Justin Karn started the Almada Grand Prix in the G2 -60 kilogram category, by defeating the American Ronald Hawthorne. He lost his next two matches to the eventual bronze medalists, Spain’s Luis Gavilan and South Korea’s Min Jae Lee.