Montréal, July 24, 2014 — Jessica Klimkait and Audrée Francis Méthot both had a shot at a podium finish, Thursday, on day 1 of the judo competition at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, in Scotland, but neither were able to win their respective bronze medal bouts.
In the under 57 kg category, Klimkait, who was making her senior debut at the international level, won her first two contests before dropping her last two.
It was the New Zealander Darcina Manuel, 19th in the world, who would put an end to the Ontarian’s medal hopes, winning with an ippon to claim one of the two bronze medals up for grabs.
“Jessica made an error on the ground and ended up getting caught in a stranglehold by the New Zealander,” coach Sasha Mehmedovic explained. “She was having a very good final match up until that point, but I think she succumbed to the pressure. She knows how close she was to the podium, so she’s quite disappointed right now.”
Earlier, Klimkait managed an ippon versus the Indian Shivani, took down the 40th ranked Scot Connie Ramsay with a waza-ari, and lost in overtime to the Brit Nekoda Davis (46th) in the semifinals. Davis went on to win gold in the grand finale.
Audrée Francis Méthot was also in contention for a bronze medal in the under 52 kg class, but came up short against the Northern Irishwoman Lisa Kearney, who defeated her with an ippon. She would settle for a 5th place classification.
Going up against an opponent who’d won 2 continental opens last year and is currently ranked 28th overall, the Quebecer fell to defeat at the 3m 28 sec mark of the fight.
“It was a tough day for Team Canada,” Mehmedovic added. “We had a decent chance of winning three medals, but our judokas just weren’t able to do what they had to do to get the necessary results. We have a really young squad and for a lot of them, this is their first Commonwealth Games. Antoine Bouchard, Audrée Francis-Méthot and Jessica Klimkait really fought hard, but it just wasn’t their day.”
Exempted from the first round, Francis Méthot lost her opening bout by a waza-ari to the Scot Louise Renicks, the 34th ranked judoka and eventual gold medalist of the competition. In the repechage, the Quebecer got back on track with an overtime victory versus the 20th ranked Australian, Hannah Trotter.
In the under 66 kg category, Quebecois Antoine Bouchard (54th) was handed a shocking defeat at the hands of Cameroonian Dieudonné Nama Etonga. The 313th ranked judoka caught Bouchard off guard with a quick ippon early on in the match.
On Friday, Canadians Monika Burgess (-70 kg), Alix Renaud-Roy (-70 kg), Béatrice Valois-Fortier (-63 kg), Jonah Burt (-81 kg) and Louis Krieber-Gagnon (-81kg) will take to the tatamis in Glasgow to represent their home country.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada