7 Nov - 2015 | par Autre

Judo Canada – African Open

Medals Galore for Canada

Montreal, November 7, 2015 – Saturday was an excellent day for Canadian judo at the African Open of Port Louis, Mauritius. After a period of erratic competition results, Canada raked in five medals at the competition ­– two gold, three bronze.

“Today was a very successful day for our Canadian Judokas!” said a very enthusiastic Sasha Mehmedovic, national coach. “Most of them were able to get on the podium, earning them Olympic qualification points. Next weekend is the Australian Continental Open and hopefully we can carry our success over there.”

On the women’s side, Montreal’s Ecaterina Guica snatched the bronze in the Under 52 kg class. She beat Argentinian Oritia Gonzalez, 51st in the world, with an ippon a mere 37 seconds into the fight. Before that, the 22-year-old, 31st, had defeated India’s Kalpana Devi Thoudam 38 seconds into her first match, and lost the semi-final to Armenia’s Zhanna Stankevic by ippon and waza-ari in her second.

“I’m kind of disappointed that I didn’t get the gold,” said Guica. “I believe it was within my reach. But then I made a mistake that cost me the semi-final! With the Olympics so close now, every competition is a crucial opportunity. Still, I’m happy to finish the day with a medal.”

Stéfanie Tremblay also walked away with a medal after immobilizing Russian Pari Surakatova, 21st, in the fight for the Under 63 kg bronze. The judoka from Saguenay, 46th, won her first bout, against American Misato Sandoval, and then lost her second to Moroccan Rizlen Zouak. In repechage, she defeated Algerian Imene Agouar by ippon.

“I’m pretty satisfied,” said Tremblay. “When I go out to World Cups now, my eye is always on the gold. That’s what makes a real difference if you want to qualify for the Olympics. Today my weight class was really strong, and the opponents ranked very high.”

Gold for the Men

On the men’s side, Patrick Gagné won the gold in the Under 66 kg division, by beating English Nathon Burns, 57th, by ippon in the final. The 24-year-old Baie-Comeau native also defeated all of his three other opponents by ippon, including Antoine Bouchard, another Maple Leafer competing in the class, in a match that went into overtime.

“As the day went on, I felt more and more confident,” said Gagné, 43rd. “The key fight was the one against my teammate. In the final, I was off to a pretty bad start and I took a waza-ari, but then I managed to get in a ground technique that I practice a lot in training. It’s becoming my signature move. I am really happy with my day. Four ippons, that’s some icing on the cake! But we have to move on to the next step, the World Cup in Australia.”

Bouchard, 17th, went on to win the bronze against Algerian Houd Zourdani, 24th. He had taken only one penalty against his opponent’s two, which tipped the scale in his favour. The Saguenay athlete had won his two other matches before losing to Gagné in the semi-final.

“It was a generally good competition,” said the 21-year-old, who will be competing at the Tokyo Grand Slam in December. “The semi-final was tight, but Patrick caught me by surprise after a restart. I was expecting that move at some point, but not at that moment.”

Finally, Arthur Margelidon, 24th, climbed up onto the highest step of the Under 73 kg podium, with a perfect 4-0 log. In the final bout, the 22-year-old Montrealer scored an ippon with a penalty against Turkish Hasan Vanlioglu, 32nd.

“The objective was to make it to the final,” said Margelidon, who is also going to be at the Tokyo Grand Slam. “I haven’t fought the Turk very often, and I didn’t start out so strong, but I managed to get him in an armlock on the ground. Now it’s back to Montreal after a long trip. It’s going to feel great!”

David Ancor was also competing, and finished seventh in the Under 73 kg. The 23-year-old finished the day with a 2-2 log. Sao Paulo native Sergio Pessoa (Under 60 kg) was eliminated after his second match.

-30-

Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
Information: 514-990-0966 | 1-866-990-0966

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