Montréal, October 17th, 2011 – Kelita Zupancic recorded a fith place classification in the under 70 kg category, Monday, at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix being held in the United Arab Emirates.
Also in action, Nicholas Tritton and Antoine Valois-Fortier both finished in ninth place. They were both taken out by the eventual bronze medalists in the tourney.
Exempted from the first round, Zupancic, currently 11th in the international standings, easily disposed of the 22nd ranked Pole Katarzyna Klys in her first match, winning with an ippon.
“It was their third confrontation against one another, and they each had a victory to their name, Canadian coach Nicolas Gill explained. In the end, it was a win that came much easier than Kelita had expected.”
In the quarterfinals, the Ontarian gave the Dutchwoman Linda Bolder (10th overall) a run for her money, but she would eventually succumb by way of an ippon.
“Everything was going well. The score was tied all the way up to the final minute. Then, in one particular sequence, Kelita was completely dominated by the Dutchwoman, who took advantage to score the decisive point,” Gill said.
Tritton, 14th in the world in the under 73 kg class, also received a bye into the second round, where he defeated the Ukrainian Anton Tyshchenko, 81st in the standings, with an ippon.
The Quebecois then ran into a roadblock in the 1/8 finals, falling in overtime against the Spaniard Kiyoshi Uematsu, 29th in the world, who won the fight with a yuko.
The path taken by Valois-Fortier, ranked 29th in the under 81 kg class, was practically identical. Exempted from the first round, he defeated the 44th ranked Algerian Abderahmane Benamadi with a yuko.
“I had a great first bout. I won on penalties. I was really happy with the outcome,” the 21-year-old Valois-Fortier affirmed.
The 5th ranked American Travis Stevens, however, would ultimately put an end to the Quebecer’s day of work, scoring a waza-ari in the last minute of their 1/8 finals clash.
“We know each other well. We’ve trained regularly together and it’s been a number of times now that we’ve met up in competitions,” the Quebecer clarified in regards to his American counterpart.
“I put together one of my best performances against him, today. I defended well throughout the bout, but unfortunately, I didn’t get a result to match.”
“I need to continue to be constant, to fight well and hope that the results will follow,” Valois-Fortier concluded.
Tuesday will mark the last day of competition of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Alexandre Émond will be competing in the 90 kg category.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada