31 Oct - 2015 | par Sportcom

Judo Canada – Grand Slam

Small Mistakes Cost Kelita Zupancic the Podium

Montreal, October 31, 2015 – Kelita Zupancic finished fifth and Antoine Valois-Fortier came in seventh this Saturday at the Abu Dhabi Judo Grand Slam, in the United Arab Emirates. 

Zupancic won her first three matches in the Under 70 kg class, but went on to lose the semi-final and the fight for one of the two bronze medals.

The Ontario athlete, ranked fifth in the world, beat Puerto Rican Maria Perez, 72nd, by ippon; Dutch Sanne Van Dijke, 42nd, by penalties; and Croatian Barbara Matic, 25th, by waza-ari.

After that, she went on to suffer ippons at the hands of German Laura Vargas Koch, the world’s third judoka and 2013 world vice-champion, and Polish Katarzyna Klys, 17th in the world and 2014 World Champ bronze medallist.

“It was a tough day,” said the Whitby native. “I made a few mistakes in the fights that I lost, and I’m looking forward to working on them! There's always lots to work on, but I'm confident I'll be ready for Rio.”

Antoine Valois-Fortier was also off to a good start and won his first two bouts in the Under 81 kg division. However, he succumbed to his third opponent, and then again in repechage.

The Quebecer, 3rd in the world, started out with a victory by yuko over Swedish Robin Pacek, 27th. He brought out the big guns in his next match, and defeated Portuguese Diogo Lima, 50th, by ippon.

He was then stopped in his tracks when Russian Sirazhudin Magomedov, 13th, beat him with a waza-ari. He adopted a more prudent stance against Hungarian Laszlo Csoknyai, 22nd, in a bout that ended in an ippon.

“I’m only just coming back,” said Valois-Fortier, who went on a break after snatching the bronze medal at the World Championships last August.

“I did well in my first two fights, and I was leading the fight against the Russian, but I made a stupid mistake and ended up losing.” He was leading by one penalty up until the last minute of regular time.

“In repechage, I injured my knee and decided to forfeit. I fell down when my opponent attacked,“ added Valois-Fortier, who didn’t look at all worried, and acted positively confident in his performance at the next competition on his calendar, the Tokyo Grand Slam in early December.

Four other Canadians were on the mat this Saturday in the United Arab Emirates. Unfortunately, Quebec athlete Arthur Margelidon was the only one among them to win a match.

Fighting in the Under 73 kg, the Montrealer served an ippon to Mozambique’s Edson Madeira, but ended up tasting his own medicine at the hands of Swedish Tommy Macias.

The Abu Dhabi experience did not taste like victory to Waterloo, Ontario’s Monika Burgess (Under 70 kg), and Montreal’s David Ancor (Under 73 kg) and Louis Krieber-Gagnon (Under 81 kg).


Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
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