Montreal, October 27, 2015 – The World Junior Championships, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, came to an end for Canadian judokas on Tuesday, after the men’s team, made up of Olivier Gobeil-St-Amand, Darren Elcock, Patrick Cantin, Louis Krieber-Gagnon and Martin Rygielski, lost the team competition’s first round 4-1 to Belarus.
Olivier Gobeil-St-Amand was the only Maple Leafer to win his match. He beat Yahor Varapayeu, in the Under 81 kg, by ippon.
“Olivier was behind by two penalties, but managed to throw his opponent in the last minute of the fight, then immobilize him to turn the match around and win it,” said the national junior team’s coach Jean-Pierre Cantin.
His teammates, however, didn’t follow suit. Darren Elcock lost by ippon to Dzmitry Minkou in the Under 66 kg, and Louis Krieber-Gagnon was stopped by Viktar Kliavusau in the Under 81 kg. Martin Rygielski suffered an ippon at the hands of Mikita Sviryd.
Patrick Cantin was disqualified from his Under 73 kg match against Hryhory Klebcha. According to Jean-Pierre Cantin, “That was the turning point.”
“Patrick had just levelled the fight and was doing great, but the video referees gave him an ansukumake for touching his opponent’s leg when he had scored a point,” explained the coach. “I didn’t agree with the decision, but there’s nothing we can do.”
As Canadian athletes say goodbye to the World Junior Championships, during which Emily Burt was the only Maple Leafer to rank (seventh place in the Under 63 kg), Jean-Pierre Cantin takes stock of the competition.
“It was a hard tournament for our Canadians. We’re going to have to go over everything again – the selection process, the physical preparation, and the training plan, in order to perform better in the next World Champs. We’re obviously lacking something.”
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