Montréal, September 12, 2014 – Judoka Stéfanie Tremblay came away with a 7th place finish, Friday, on day 1 of competition at the Zagreb Grand Prix presented in Croatia. Canadians Jessica Klimkait, Charles Breton-Leduc and Youssef Youssef also took part in the tournament, but none were able to get past the first round in their respective categories.
Competing in the under 57 kg class, Tremblay put together a record of two wins and two losses. The Montrealer got things started with a victory over the Chinese Tingting Li followed by a triumph over the Frenchwoman Hélène Receveaux in the prelims. The quarterfinals saw her take on the Slovenian Vlora Bedeti, who beat her on penalty accumulation. This first loss forced the Quebecoise judoka into the repechage, where she succumbed to defeat versus the Brit Nedoka Smythe-Davis.
“I had a decent draw, and my day started off really well,” Stéfanie Tremblay explained. “I had a bit of difficulty getting my hands on the Chinese judoka early on, but the moment I was able to get a hold of her, I made an attack and she went to ground. The Frenchwoman was pretty solid. I knew her a little bit so I had a good game plan for her, one that I followed really well.”
“I lost to the Slovenian a few weeks ago at the World Championships, but I thought that match went fairly well. She has a very particular style, and I thought I found good way to counter it. Today she managed to alter her approach, and I never was able to find a way to deal with it. Her grappling technique is pretty aggravating; she makes it really hard to get a hold of her. It’s the kind of style that makes you look bad out there. Her entire strategy is focused on this technique, and to me it’s not really judo.”
Against the Brit Smythe-Davis in the repechage, Tremblay was leading by a penalty up until the point where she made a small error that saw her go outside the lines. In overtime, she would eventually get thrown to ground.
“I was aiming for a podium today or at least a top-5 finish,” Tremblay commented. “Performance-wise, I’m pretty happy with my first two bouts where I was able to throw both of my opponents, and it was a good win against the Frenchwoman, who was quite strong. I’ll have to go back and work on the little tactical errors I made in my two losses.”
In the same division, the Ontarian Jessica Klimkait fell in her first contest against the Swiss judoka Émilie Amaron.
On the men’s side, the Montreal-native Charles Breton-Leduc (-60 kg) also lost his opening bout, falling to the Italian Carmine Maria Di Loreto.
It was the same story for the Ontarian Youssef Youssef (-60 kg), who was eliminated in his prelim opener against the Belgian Senne Wyns.
The Zagreb Grand Prix will see two more days of action, with the judokas taking to the tatamis on Saturday and Sunday.
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Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada