Montréal, June 8, 2014 – The Quebecoise judoka Catherine Roberge walked away with a 5th place classification in the under 78 kg class, Sunday, at the Havana Grand Prix presented in Cuba. The tournament is the first competition that counts towards the selection process of the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Taking on the 4th ranked German Luise Malzhan in the bronze medal bout, Roberge would come up short, falling to her opponent by an ippon. Ahead on points for much of the contest, Roberge had high hopes to come away with a podium finish.
“I was leading by a waza-ari with just 50 seconds left in the fight. We were grappling along the outside of the lines and I thought the referee called “mate” (the word that temporarily stops the contest), but he didn’t. She (Malzhan) took advantage and scored an ippon quickly thereafter. I was nonchalant and it’s totally my error,” explained Roberge, who added that fatigue didn’t play a part in her misinterpretation of the situation.
In the semis, Roberge was defeated by the top-rated Frenchwoman Audrey Tcheumeo, falling by an ippon. The Canadian got the better of the French judoka at the last world championships, but the circumstances were much different this time around.
“I had just finished a four-minute bout versus the Croatian, and I got called back immediately to take on my next opponent. I only had 10 minutes to prepare, basically to drink a little water, change my judogi, and get right back onto the tatami. I was already pretty exhausted. It’s just one of things that can happen to anyone at a judo competition.”
Earlier in the day, Roberge got off to a good start in the Cuban capital, winning by ippon against the Ecuadorian Diana Chala (29th). Ranked 9th in the international federation, the Quebecer then went on to defeat the Croatian Ivana Maranic, ranked 13th overall.
In the same division, Ana Laura Portuondo-Isasi, 41st in the world, was eliminated in her very first contest, falling by an ippon to the 78th ranked Pole Daria Pgorzelec.
On the men’s side, Brandon Jobb also fell in his one and only bout in the under 90 kg class. The 123rd ranked British Columbian was defeated by ippon against the Cuban Liester Cardona.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada