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Paralympic Sports: Judo

Canada take double gold at Judo American Champs

Defending champion Priscilla Gagne and debutant Michelle Jorgensen show top form in Montreal 14 Jan 2020
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two female judokas in action on the mat

Priscilla Gagne claimed gold in front of her home crowd at the judo Pan Ams

ⒸRafael Burza
By IBSA

Hosts Canada enjoyed a double golden performance at the 2020 Judo American Championships in Montreal on Sunday (12 January).

Defending champion Priscilla Gagne and debutant Michelle Jorgensen were on top form in the women’s up to 52kg and up to 70kg, respectively.

Full results are available online and fans can watch Montreal 2020 again at IBSA’s YouTube channel. 

Following a bye in the first round, Gagne defeated Brazil’s Maria Lins by ippon in golden score. The Canadian followed that up with a win over Lins’ teammate Karla Cardoso in the final.

“I felt very prepared mentally today and 90 per cent of the fight is about mental preparation, so I feel like if that’s ready, everything is fine,” Gagne said. 

“My coach gave me great advice and I stuck to the plan. I feel very lucky and thankful for the opportunity to have a competition of this level at home. 

“I’ve been preparing for a long time for this, and I was very excited to fight at home in front of my family and friends. It was a great day and I’m ready for the rest of the season.”

Jorgensen topped the podium for Canada in the women’s up to 70kg. She scored 2-1 against Uruguay’s Mariana Mederos.

BRAZILIAN VICTORIES

The women’s over 70kg featured a clash of the Brazilian titans in the final, with Lima 2019 Parapan American Games champion Meg Rodrigues beating 2018 champion Rebeca Silva for gold.

Brazil’s Lucia Araujo successfully defended her title in the women’s up to 57kg, while USA’s Liana Mutia triumphed in the women’s up to 63kg.

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female judoka Lucia Araujo smiles on the podium holding up a mascot
Brazilian Lucia Araujo Ⓒ Getty Images

Brazil secured a trio of golds in the men’s, bringing their Montreal 2020 total to five.

Luan Pimental retained his gold from two years ago in the men’s up to 73kg, Wilians Araujo beat Cuba’s Yordani Sastre Fernandez in the men’s over 100kg final and four-time Paralympic champion Antonio Tenorio won the men’s up to 100kg.

LATIN WINNERS

Uruguayan Henry Borges took gold in the men’s up to 60kg after defeating Canada’s title-holder Justin Karn in the semi-final and Venezuela’s Marcos Blanco in the final.

Mexico’s Paralympic champion and Americas champion Eduardo Avila Sanchez continued his winning streak in the men’s up to 81kg. 

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two male judokas fighting on the mate
Mexican Eduardo Avila Sanchez ⒸLima 2019

Sanchez's teammate Brayan Mizael Valencia Preciado added another gold for Mexico in the men’s up to 90kg, avenging his 2018 loss against Brazil’s Arthur Silva who this time left with silver.

Argentina’s Eduardo Gauto improved on his silver medal from two years ago in the men’s up to 66kg. Venezuela’s Marcos Falcon was second.

The 2020 Judo American Championships were the last regional competition ahead of Tokyo 2020. 

Just two Grand Prix now remain for judokas to secure world ranking points that will determine qualification for the upcoming Paralympic Games. They will head to Nottingham, Great Britain, from 11-12 April and Baku, Azerbaijan, from 11-12 May.