Good Fights, but Not the Expected Results at the Baku Grand Prix

13
May
2019

Montreal, May 13, 2019 – Canadian judokas in action at the IBSA Parajudo Grand Prix in Baku (Azerbaidjan), Priscilla Gagné and Justin Karn, didn’t get the results they were hoping for on Monday. Gagné had a score of 1-2, while Karn lost his first and only bout.

Gagné (-52 kg) started out strong by surprising Greek Ammanouela Masourou with an ippon after only 6 seconds.

Her next opponent, Algerian Cherine Abdellaoui, was a fierce opponent and defeated Gagné by ippon. Both athletes had already faced each other at the Rio Paralympic Games, where Abdellaoui had also won. On Monday, she executed a tactic to win some time.

“In Rio, my strategy was to bring her onto the floor. Today, I tried more moves to stay on my feet, but I had trouble getting close to her, she was able to maintain a distance,” said Gagné, who won a bronze medal at the World Championships last November.

In repechage, Gagné was defeated again, this time against Sabina Abdullayeva, from Azerbaidjan, a newcomer on the international circuit.

“I couldn’t get close enough and my tactics didn’t work. She was really strong and I’m disappointed, because that’s not the result I was hoping for. I know what I’ll need to work on when I get back to training in Montreal.”

Fighting with the men in -60 kg, Justin Karn was defeated by the World Championships silver medallist, Ishak Ouldkouider. The Algerian defeated the Canadian by waza-ari after 4 minutes.

“I fought well, and I was strong. I was confident, and I think I can do even better next time I’m up against him. If the fight had been a little longer, I think I would have been able to win. I also think our bout tired him out for the rest of the day,” explained the Guelph native, who now lives in Longueuil.

Andrzej Sadej, the Canadian parajudo team coach, agreed with him.

“It was a great bout. We were hoping Justin would go in repechage, but the Algerian lost his following fight against a Turk who was previously fighting in -66 kg.”

“I drained him, he didn’t have energy left for the next fight,” added Karn.

The Canadian was slowed down by a bursitis on his right knee in the last 2 months, which made him put his result into perspective.

“I didn’t know how I’d react; I gave it my all. It’s not the result I wanted, but under the circumstances, I’m happy,” explained the athlete, who will have surgery on Friday to remove liquid in his knee.

Gagné and Karn will be competing again at the IBSA World Games at the end of June in Fort Wayne, in Indiana.

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Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada

Patrick Esparbès
Chief Operating Officer
(514) 668-6279

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