Montreal, October 20, 2018 – Alexandre Arencibia was the first Canadian to win a medal at the Junior Judo World Championships in Nassau, in the Bahamas, on Friday. After a bout that ended in golden score, he won one of the two bronze medals in the -81 kg category.
He was up against Hungarian Robert Rajkai in the bronze-medal fight. After more than two minutes in overtime, he was able to defeat his opponent by ippon. His coach Jean-Pierre Cantin ran into his arms after his victory was confirmed.
“At first, when I was thrown, I told myself it’d be hard, but I composed myself and reset everything. I saw the Canadian team members cheer for me, and it gave me energy to keep going. At the end, I was able to do a sequence and it ended with an ippon. I was really, really happy,” said Arencibia.
Earlier in the day, the Montrealer won against Portuguese Miguel Alvez. He then defeated Argentinian Victor Gonzalez by ippon in less than a minute. He lost his last fight in the preliminary rounds against Italian Christian Parlati, who went on to win the Junior world title in his category.
“It was our first time facing each other. I was disappointed to lose because I wanted to win the gold medal, but I rolled up my sleeves and I found my motivation in repechage. I wasn’t leaving without a medal,” explained the Quebecois.
He quickly bounced back in repechage, where he only needed 35 seconds to win by ippon against Brazilian Guilherme Schimidt.
“It was a magic day,” said his coach, Jean-Pierre Cantin. “He was able to stay focused even after losing a fight he wanted to win, and he won in repechage. He listened to my instructions, and I’m really, really proud of him. It was a great experience.”
Fighting in the same category, François Gauthier-Drapeau, from Alma, was eliminated after his first and only fight of the day, against Azerbaijani Murad Fatiyev.
Ontarian Benjamin Kendrick, bronze medallist at the Cadet World Championships in 2017, was also eliminated after his first fight in -90 kg. His opponent, Georgian Lasha Bekauri, was declared the winner after the 4-minute regulatory time. Bekauri went on to win the gold medal.
On the women’s team, Shianne Gronen (-70 kg) will be going home with a score of 1 victory and 1 loss. The Creston native dominated with an ippon after a short 30 seconds against Bahamian Raven Pennerman. In the next round, facing Netherlander Donja Vos, she was eliminated, also by ippon.
There were no Canadians fighting in -63 kg.
Allayah Copeland (-78 kg), Shady El Nahas (-100 kg) and Joe Casey Andres (+100 kg) will be in action on Saturday for the last day of the tournament.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada