Jorgensen and Gagné Fifth in Warwick
Montréal, June 20, 2021 – Canadian judoka Michelle Jorgensen had a tough day in her second international competition on Sunday at the Warwick Grand Prix in Great Britain. She put up a good fight against the world’s elite judokas and finished fifth in the under-70 kg class.
In her first bout of the day, she lost to Uzbekistan’s Vasila Aliboeva, who is currently ranked fourth worldwide in the weight class. Aliboeva scored an ippon with only 15 seconds remaining in regulation time.
In the repechage, Jorgensen’s Cuban opponent Sheyla Samarian Hernandez Estupinan was forced to withdraw due to an injury suffered in her previous match. Jorgensen then advanced to the bronze medal round, where Georgia’s Ina Kaldani, currently seventh in the world, snagged the medal.
Priscilla Gagné will bounce back after injury
On Saturday, Priscilla Gagné fought in the under-52 kg category. She too finished fifth after withdrawing at the end of the day.
“It was my first competition in more than a year and I wanted to see where I stood, considering the pandemic and the training centre health restrictions,” she explained. “I’m really happy to be here, and even though I’m not in peak condition, I now know where I stand and what I have to work on to get back to my pre-Covid fitness level.”
Gagné lost her first match of the day to Karla Cardoso of Brazil and injured her shoulder during the fight. However, she was able to bounce back spectacularly in her repechage bout against Cynthia Paige Simon of the U.S.A. and score an ippon by throwing her opponent to the ground.
Before moving on to compete against four-time Paralympic medallist Ramona Brussig for a spot on the podium, the Canadian was examined by a therapist and her coach Andrzej Sadej. They determined that as a preventative measure, Gagné should forfeit the bout.
“Although I was really looking forward to facing my good friend from Germany, my coach reminded me that the tournament was not all that important. Had I aggravated my injury, it could have affected my training for the Tokyo Paralympic Games,” admitted Gagné, adding that she has full confidence in Sadej.
Justin Karn also competed in Warwick on Saturday in the under-60 kg category. The Ontarian lost to Luis Daniel Gavilan Lorenzo of Spain in the first round, then bowed out to Henry Borges of Uruguay in the repechage.
Written Sportcom for Judo Canada
Chief Operating Officer