Montreal, February 24, 2017 – Canadian judoka Ecaterina Guica finished seventh at the Düsseldorf Grand Prix on Friday in Germany.
“Seventh place isn’t what I was aiming for today. It wasn’t a great day for me. I had really hoped to win a medal here,” commented the Montreal athlete, who competes in the U52 kg class and is currently ranked 23rd in the world.
After starting strong with a victory over Germany’s Ines Beischmidt, Guica was defeated by Alexandra-Larisa Florian of Romania.
She did, however, qualify for the repechage, where she faced off against Ai Shishime of Japan, who currently holds eighth place in the international standings. Shishime was able to score a waza-ari and an ippon, which put an end to Guica’s day of competition.
“I made some strategic mistakes and some errors in my grip. I had trouble concentrating on what I needed to be doing,” Guica explained. “It was the third tournament of my European tour and I’ve had to keep my weight down, which isn’t always easy,” she added, looking a little fatigued.
Although she had hoped to make it further in the Düsseldorf tournament, she plans to use the experience as a learning opportunity. “I now have a good idea of what I need to work on when I get home in order to be better prepared for my next competitions. I’d like to improve my left-on-left attacks to make them stronger. I know it’s one of my weaker areas and I’ve been working on that for a while,” she commented.
In U57 kg action, Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard was eliminated in her first combat by Russia’s Daria Mezhetckaia. The two judokas kept the crowd in suspense into overtime, when Mezhetckaia scored a waza-ari and advanced to the next round.
Étienne Briand will be competing in the U81 kg category on Saturday. His first match will be against Safarbek Murodov of Tajikistan.