Montreal, March 11, 2018 – Canadian judoka Alex Marineau experienced his first international win on Sunday during the Panamerican Open in Santiago, in Chile. Fighting in the -81 kg category, the Montrealer won his four fights of the day and stood on top of the podium.
“It’s incredible to finally be rewarded for all the sacrifices I’ve made!” says Marineau.
His goal was clear when he arrived in Chile: he wanted to bring home the gold medal. Marineau took his goal very seriously and studied his opponents before stepping on the mat on Sunday. “I knew my opponents well, and I had analyzed their previous fights.”
This was a winning strategy for the athlete, who won his first three fights by ippon. In the finale, against Argentinian Luis Vega, he knew how close he was to reach his goal, and that hurt him a bit. “I was rushing things too much, and I made a mistake. I knew he’d try to push me out of the fighting surface and give me a penalty,” he explained.
The Quebecois was able to compose himself quickly enough. “I waited for the right moment, and I threw him,” added the athlete who won the gold medal by ippon.
Fighting in the same category, Danil Neyolov finished in 7th place. After losing in the second round, he lost again in repechage.
Alex Marineau isn’t the only Canadian who stood on the podium in Santiago. Fighting with the -90 kg, Maxim Côté won the bronze medal. “It’s a good result for a first time in a new weight category,” says Côté, who previously fought in the -81 kg category. “I enjoyed being able to fight without having to lose weight, and I felt stronger and more energetic.”
The Quebecois didn’t feel nervous for his first tournament in this new category. “I tried to stay focused on what I had to do against each opponent, and after the first fight, I wasn’t nervous at all!”
After winning in the first round, Côté was defeated by Lebanese Nacif Elias. He bounced back in repechage, where he won against American Christopher Moulton. He also won the bronze medal fight, this time against Chilean Diego Gonzalez.
Keagan Young Wins Bronze
At the Cadet European Cup in Zagreb, in Croatia, Keagan Young (-73 kg) was the only Canadian athlete to win a medal. The judoka from Ontario keeps his winning streak alive, after winning gold in Turkey last week.
“It was a good day for Keagan. He’s on a roll!” commented his coach, James Millar.
Fighting for one of the bronze medals in his category, 10 seconds was all he needed to win by ippon against Italian Giovanni Zaraca. “Keagan is smaller than his opponents, so he needs to stay active on the mat.”
After winning his first two fights of the day, Young lost by ippon against Ukrainian Artem Bubyr. “It wasn’t a bad loss,” said Millar. “Keagan’s opponent was very tall.”
Young went through repechage, where he defeated 3 more opponents before going into the bronze medal fight.
Fighting with the -81 kg category, Alexandre Arencibia kept on winning until the semi-final. His bout against Brazilian Marcos Santos went into overtime for more than 5 minutes after regulation time. He was finally defeated after his opponent scored a waza-ari.
He then lost the bronze medal fight against Israeli Nadav Zurat, and ended up in 5th place.
“Alexandre was very consistent in the last few months. Today, he simply wasn’t lucky, and the fights didn’t go how he wanted them to,” commented James Millar.
Rachel Krapman (-57 kg) didn’t get a ranking, after 2 victories and 2 loss.
In the same category, Sierra Tanner was eliminated after her first fight.
Marc Deschênes wins the bronze medal
Marc Deschênes won the bronze medal in the +100 kg category at the Senior European Cup in Zurich, in Switzerland. He defeated British Andrew Melbourne by ippon in the bronze medal fight. During the preliminary round, Deschênes surprised French Jean-Sébastien Bonvoisin by winning by ippon, before losing the semi-final against German Benjamin Bouizgarne, who also won by ippon.
Michael Guerault (-100 kg) was eliminated in repechage, after losing his 2 fights of the day.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
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