Abigail Paduch (judo) will be looking to emulate Australia’s only women’s judo gold medallist, Maria Pekli, when she makes her Commonwealth Games debut in the women’s 78kg in Birmingham. Abigail, who trains under Morgan Endicott-Davies at the Zenbu Judo Club in Sydney, was introduced to judo in her first year of high school at St Andrews’ Cathedral School in Sydney. A month later she was added to the NSW junior squad, and after four months she had won her first national age title. She was chosen for her first Australian team in 2018, aged 18, and won bronze at the Junior European Cup in Lithuania as well as Oceania Junior and Open championships later that year. In 2019, she reached the podium in almost every major competition she attended, claiming the Australian junior title and finishing third in the open division. Two bronze medals and a silver at Junior European Cup events were followed by a 7th placing at the World Junior Championships despite competing with a torn ligament. She was also the first Australian to be crowned Asia-Oceania junior champion in 2020. Unfortunately, injury forced Abigail out of contention for the Tokyo Olympic Games, so this is her next big opportunity. Abigail is undertaking a Bachelor in High Performance Sport at the Australian Catholic University.
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